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Getting studies running again on Pavlovia

This thread contains some advice on running studies on Pavlovia, given recent developments.

Recap of developments

(details here and here)

  • Wed 10 March, 3:30 AM (UTC), a fire broke out in a data center, causing to go offline. No data was lost though.
  • Thu 11 March, 1 PM (UTC), we got a temporary server online with a database from Mon 4 January, this is the current That includes usernames and passwords, experiments, and research data. Anything that happened since isn’t there yet. Note that all experiments are set to inactive, but you can safely activate them again.
  • Fri 19 March we expect to have a database restored that’s from just before the fire broke out. From this date, things will return as they were on Wed 10 March.
  • Once we start restoring, our biggest challenge will be merging changes on the temporary Pavlovia with the backups of Wed 10 March. We can use your help to make it easier.

What does this mean for your research?

Below we list a couple of scenarios:

  • I can wait with my research until after Fri 19 March. If this is an option for you, please do! This will be the easiest both for you and for us.
  • I can’t wait with designing and piloting my study. You could use the current Pavlovia to develop your study. The best route is creating a new project, either from scratch or with a copy of the materials you’ve already got.
  • I can’t wait with collecting data. You’ve likely got an ongoing study. If you’ve got a local copy of your experiment, you can sync it again to have the most recent version on Pavlovia.

We hope this advice helps out. If you’ve got any questions or concerns, feel free to post them below!


Thanks for the help @thomas_pronk ,

I noticed that a few of my repositories have vanished including one with a several hundred participant study. Is this expected? Will these data come back?

Interestingly, some repositories remained, namely those that were created several months ago.

Heya! What you’ve got on the current Pavlovia is the state it was in the 4th of January. Anything that happened after that date isn’t on Pavlovia at the moment. However, your data (and experiments) will return, soon after the 19th.

Cool – thanks!

Is it safe to create a new repo and run a study using that new repo? Got an undegraduate thesis that i need to collect data for asap:)

Yeah, you can safely do that. We’ll have some challenges merging the new situation with the “before-the-fire-database”, so we advise researchers to wait if that’s an option. However, if you’re in a hurry, then creating a new project is a relatively easy scenario.

Great, I created a new project. Thanks so much!

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Since the experiments are “covered by an Open Science Tools license” does this mean we do not require credits to run the study? Because I started a experiment and it prompted me to put credit on so I did (28 credits). Now that option isn’t there and the message about getting the experiment covered is the only thing up.

Yes that’s correct. I suspect that when we move back to the original server all credits will be as they were before the fire.

I need to run a small pilot this week using Prolific.
We decided to wait until March 19th to run the real experiment.
Since my lab’s account is not available (was created on Jan 3rd), we need to create a new lab user or use my private account - the labs account had 500 credits available .
My question is, when the lab account will be restored - will we have the the credits back?
or, if we create now a new lab account with the same user id - can we move the credit there?

The number of credits for your lab account will be saved on the server that’s currently off. When the server is restored your lab account should be restored complete with the credits it had when the server was switched off.

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So just to confirm, is we are waiting till after the 19th, everything will be restored by then and no merging will be required right?

I confirm that no merging will be needed if you wait until after the 19th @rosem09


Hi All,

If it is safe to re-activate existing studies, do you have any information about how the merging between the new and old databases will occur?

Many thanks

Hey @EleanorPhillips,

We’re working on a merging strategy as we… ehm… write. The plan is to give a little update about that soon. In principle it’s safe to re-active existing studies.

Best, Thomas

Thank you @thomas_pronk!

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@EleanorPhillips, here is the update: Recovery of Pavlovia services and data following the OVH fire - #46 by jon

@thomas_pronk @jon As the data from OVH version of the server won’t be available till the 21st, is the current pavlovia going to be up through the weekend? Or will it be changing over on the 19th as originally planned and the forum alert says? I’m just curious as we were thinking about collecting some data tomorrow and Friday (the 19th) but don’t want to start if Pavlovia will be unavailable. Thanks!

Hey @Luke_Ehlert, no worries: so long as the OVH server isn’t available yet, we’ll keep the current one online.

I am trying to pilot my study online and it seems that no data is being recorded. Could this have something to do with the fire situation?


Hi @alexRivard,

When your study is in “pilot” mode, no data is stored on Pavlovia; this only happens when you set it to “run” mode.

Best, Thomas