All that Research Randomizer requires is a standard web browser connected to the Internet (e.g., Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer) — no specialized software, plugins, or extensions.
As with most computer-based "random number generators," this program is best described as a "pseudo-random number generator" because the numbers are generated by use of a complex algorithm (seeded by the computer's clock) that gives the appearance of randomness. For most purposes this should be adequate. If, however, the demands of your experiment require "true" random numbers, or if you're interested in learning more about them, we suggest you visit HotBits. The output from HotBits is not as customizable as the output from Research Randomizer, but the numbers are generated by radioactive decay rather than a computer algorithm.
The original idea and programming for Research Randomizer came from Geoffrey C. Urbaniak in 1997. Research Randomizer was then jointly developed with Scott Plous, Executive Director of Social Psychology Network, and online tutorials were added to the main program. In 2007, Scott Plous and web developer Mike Lestik redesigned the site and added new content, and in 2015 the site was further updated by Scott Plous and Jeff Breil, a professional designer based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Yes, Research Randomizer has received a number of honors,
If you wish to cite Research Randomizer (e.g., in a research report or student paper), here is an example of the suggested format:
Urbaniak, G. C., & Plous, S. (2013). Research Randomizer (Version 4.0) [Computer software]. Retrieved on June 22, 2013, from http://www.randomizer.org/
If you have questions about Research Randomizer or its results (e.g., how to generate unique numbers, how to sort the results, and so forth), please complete our Quick Tutorial, which is designed to answer most questions, or try clicking on the "Help" links within the Randomizer web form. If, after that,
you have any questions or experience any problems with Research Randomizer, feel free to contact Contact Us.