To participate in a study
You will receive your login information from the participant pool via email the weekend before the first week of labs, which is usually the second week of the semester. The participant pool will send you your Login ID (which is your UConn email address without the “@uconn.edu”–so if your UConn email address is email@example.com, your Login ID would be jane.smith) and a temporary password. Once you log in for the first time you will be asked to change your password to something that you will remember. If you ever forget your password, you can use the ‘Forgot Password’ function on the participant pool website to retrieve it (you only need your Login ID to use this function; see above). If you added your class late, it is possible that an account was not automatically created for you. To know for sure, try to retrieve your password using the ‘Forgot Password’ function. If this doesn’t work, you will need to contact the participant pool to request an account (firstname.lastname@example.org). To receive an account, please provide the participant pool with your name, student ID number, your specific class (e.g., PSYC 1100), and your professor’s name.
The appointment times, places, number of credits, and participant restrictions are listed in the descriptions. Please check that the date and time of the research study appointment fits into your schedule before signing up. Remember that each credit equates to a 1/2 hour of time. (e.g., For a 2 credit study, you should expect the study to last 1 hour). When you sign up for a study through Sona, you should receive an email confirmation automatically from Sona. This email contains important information, including the study title, the time slot you signed up for, the location of the study, and your Sona participant ID number, which you should provide to the researcher when you show up for your appointment.
You may not participate in any study without signing up first; this is to ensure that researchers can prepare for the proper number of participants. In rare instances, you may also be contacted by telephone or email to invite you to participate in particular studies. You are free to choose whether to make an appointment for these studies, but these appointments follow the same rules as all other studies.
Finding your research study appointment
You can check when and where your appointments occur via the Participant Pool system. When you arrive at the room, look for a sign on the door with the research study number and title as well as instructions about where to wait. Please note that it may disrupt another participant if you enter uninvited; please respect others’ privacy and follow the directions about whether to enter or to wait for the researcher.
Getting credits for your participation
It is the researcher’s responsibility to ensure that you are granted appropriate credit for your study participation. The researcher will give you credits for your participation via the Participant Pool system. This should ideally happen within 48 hours of your participation (usually sooner). No action is required by you to receive your credit, and you should receive an email confirmation from Sona once your credit has been applied. To check your credit amounts, or if you have concerns about receiving credit for a particular study, please see the next section, entitled “Checking your credits.”
Checking your credits
You can check your credits via the Participant Pool system. Normally, the credits you have earned will be updated within 48 hours. Otherwise, you must email the researcher to check the credits you have earned. If the number of credits is not updated in 24 hours after you contact the researcher, you must fill out a Credit Correction Form. The Participant Pool Coordinator will update the number of credits or contact you for further information. You have until the specified deadline to prove that the total number of credits you have earned has been incorrectly recorded. The Participant Pool Coordinator(s) and instructors will not change your credits after the specified deadline. Please plan to check your credits during the allotted time.
Your obligations as a research participant
If you have signed up for a study appointment, you are expected to attend and to participate with integrity (unless you find the study too uncomfortable). Both researchers and other participants depend on you to fulfill your commitments. For example, some studies require several participants to interact and the study cannot be run if all participants are not present.
To cancel a research study appointment you have made
You must cancel an appointment at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled time via the Participant Pool system. Cancellations less than 24 hours prior to the scheduled time will result in a “no show.” If you must cancel less than 24 hours in advance, you must email the researcher to let him/her know that you will not make your appointment. If the researcher deems that your reason for missing the appointment is valid (e.g., medical emergency), he/she may give you a “zero” instead of a no show, which neither benefits nor penalizes you. However, it is at the discretion of the researcher to decide whether you will receive a “no show” or zero credit for missing your appointment. The researcher may excuse serious events such as illness or family emergencies. If you fail to show up for an appointment due to errors in scheduling, forgetfulness, or have not notified the researcher as to a reason for your absence, the participant pool coordinator will record this as a “no show.” Once you have two unexcused no-shows, you will be considered to have opted out of the study participation method of fulfilling your experiment credit requirements in your class syllabus. Every class does have alternate methods of obtaining experimental credit. If you would like to dispute a no-show that you have received, you may fill out a No-Show Dispute Form.