Offline Recovery

In the world of online cognitive experiments, ensuring data integrity is paramount. Researchers rely on accurate and complete data to draw meaningful insights and conclusions from their studies. However, in an environment where internet connectivity can be unpredictable, the risk of data loss due to connection disruptions is a concern. This is where offline recovery comes into play, offering a solution to mitigate the impact of internet downtime on data collection.

What is Offline Recovery?

Offline recovery is a feature designed to safeguard data integrity in cognitive experiments, even in situations where internet connectivity is disrupted. There are two main scenarios in which offline recovery comes into play:

  1. Recovery of Data after Connection Loss: If a participant loses internet connection during the experiment and later regains it, offline recovery ensures that the collected data is sent to the server once connectivity is restored.

  2. Recovery of Data after Participant Leaves the Website: In the event of a connection loss where the participant leaves the experiment website, offline recovery ensures that the stored data is sent to the server the next time the participant visits the experiment URL.

How Does Offline Recovery Work?

Offline recovery operates on a simple yet effective principle. At every trial of the experiment, the collected data is persisted in the participant's browser local storage. If the connection is lost and the data cannot be immediately sent to the server, it remains stored securely in the browser.

When the participant revisits the experiment URL, the stored data is automatically sent to the server, ensuring that no data is lost due to connection disruptions. Once the data is successfully transmitted, it is removed from the local storage, maintaining the participant's privacy and data security.

Can Researchers Access Offline Data?

One common question researchers may have is whether they can access the offline data stored in the participant's browser local storage or force the browser to send it back. The answer is no. Offline data is securely stored in the participant's browser local storage and is not accessible by researchers. Researchers can only prompt the data to be sent back by instructing participants to revisit the experiment's link.

In summary, offline recovery is a valuable feature that enhances the reliability and robustness of data collection in online cognitive experiments. By safeguarding against data loss due to connection disruptions, offline recovery ensures that researchers can trust the integrity of their data, ultimately leading to more accurate and meaningful research outcomes.

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