Retiring the QRTEngine

Dear QRTE users,

We are sad to announce that we have decided to retire the QRTEngine and support. The continuing and often unpredictable developments in the Qualtrics environment make it increasingly difficult to provide a stable QRTE platform.

In September last year we first noticed compatibility issues between Qualtrics’ newest Survey Engine (Jiffy) and the QRTEngine. Over several calls with Qualtrics’ engineering team we were unable to come to a satisfying solution in fixing the QRTEngine for the Jiffy engine, and were left with recommending users to revert to the old Qualtrics Survey Engine, for which we implemented a feature in the QRTEngine to automatically re-direct to the non-jiffy engine. However, it seems likely that the old Qualtrics Survey Engine will be retired at some point, which is a major threat to the method.

Unfortunately, several recent attempts to contact the Qualtrics team were not successful. So we do not know when the old Qualtrics Survey Engine will stop being supported. However, we got the impression that Qualtrics is not willing to support anything QRTEngine-related anymore. Repeated reports of sudden bugs in their engine were typically also not taken seriously, although they sometimes “spontaneously” disappeared, only then to resurface in new forms once again later on.

We also recently learned from users that the Qualtrics data handling platform will be moved to the so-called “Qualtrics Insight Platform”. Data output by this new platform seems not to be compatible with the QRTEParser, although – as one of you suggested at the forum – you can try to remove the 3rd row of your output csv file and see whether in that case the data is still parsed correctly.

Considering the minimal support we can expect from Qualtrics and the fact that our team is running this project in spare time without funding, we think that we are unable to continue the project in a sustainable way.

So our advice would be to finish up your projects running QRTEngine and start to look for alternatives – although we have to admit that we are not aware of any other free online experiment software yet that is easy to use without requiring extensive programming skills. Anyway, if you are a coder and like to integrate our code in another open survey environment, let’s try to team up and let us know at

In case you have support questions, please use the forum and ask the community for help. We will keep our site and the online parser alive at least until the end of 2016.

We still believe in online research and that this the way to go for future psychological research. We hope that the QRTEngine helped in getting your online research done. We thank you for your interest in our method and apologize for the QRTEngine coming to its end-of-life so suddenly.

Best regards,

The QRTEngine team

3 thoughts on “Retiring the QRTEngine

  1. Hello,

    I have been using this free platform to run reaction time and survey studies:

    The website is not the most user friendly, to see its capabilities you need to create an account and access their sample experiment through it.

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