SONA Tutorial - Department of Psychology

University of Montana
Department of Psychology
(adapted from University of Sussex)
Why Sona?
• Demonstrated increase in
attendance/decrease in “no shows”
• Online sign-ups: no more scheduling
• Instant online booking
• Assign credits online
• Pre-screen participants
• Email notification of sign-ups and
• Loads more – ask us what it can do!
Getting a SONA Account
You must first get both IRB and Subject Pool approval to run a study.
After that point, if you do not already have a SONA account, you need to set
up a research account on SONA. To get an account, e-mail the subject pool
chair at [email protected] NOTE: You only need to get an account
once. If you already have an account, you can skip this step.
In the e-mail to the subject pool chair, include the following information:
– 1. Your First Name
– 2. Your Last Name
– 3. Your umontana e-mail address
– 4. Whether or not you have another SONA account (e.g., if you are an
instructor offering extra credit, you will need different accounts for being a
researcher and for being an instructor, and that requires me to give you a
slightly different user ID for each account).
The subject pool chair will create your account, and you will be automatically
sent an e-mail with your account id and password. Then you can move on to
the next slide!
Logging In (no www)
This is what you will see:
Log in with your ID and password.
What you will see next:
Add a New Study
Pick your study type
We are going to start with a standard study
Enter your
study info
Add New Study: Main Points
Most of these things are self-explanatory, so I’m not going to explain them.
A few key points/rules:
– Brief Abstract versus Detailed Description: If you have a study that was approved by the IRB for
the old sign-up sheets, then put that language in total in the next box (‘detailed description’) and put
the first (or first and second) sentence of that detailed description in the brief abstract.
• Otherwise, simply get IRB approval for what you plan on putting in the Title, the Abstract, and
the Detailed Description – and then put those in here. (A common thing to do is to use the
language from your consent form description (section 2) verbatim in the detailed description).
– Credits:
• You should list your study in increments of 30 minutes (30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes).
Err on the side of the longest participant and round up to the next 30 minute interval.
• 1 credit = 30 minutes. This is NOT OPTIONAL; it is departmental policy; if your study is 60
minutes, then you can give 2 (no more and no less) credits, and 2 credits only. And so forth.
– IRB: You have to put information about the IRB status of your study to activate it. You should be sure
you do this accurately – we are on the trust/honor system here; don’t make that trust misplaced!
(Violators will be severely punished).
– If in doubt, leave the defaults in place. While we wanted to give researchers options should they
want them, for most “basic” studies, the defaults will suffice.
– Activate Study. Once you activate your study, it is active and available to participants – so do this
with caution, only when you are ready to launch your study.
Timeslots and more
You will have this information
available under the
information about your study.
Click on “view/administer time
You should now see this page:
If you choose to add a timeslot, this page opens:
date & time
You’ve already
told the system
the study duration.
Multiple subjects can be run at once!
Note: I got this screen shot from another university –
in our system, you have to type in the room (but this
does not mean you have the room – still need to
book it)
The procedure is similar if you add multiple timeslots!
Choose number of slots
Choose start date and time
Specify time btwn sessions
Add number of
participants and
This is what you should see when your timeslot is
You can also monitor your time slot usage:
Additional Features
The system also allows you to email participants:
Additional Features
The system also allows
you to preview your
study to see what the
participant sees.
What do the participants see?
Participants’ start pages have less information.
But “study sign-up” is easy to find!
What do the participants see?
Study sign-ups lists the active studies in random
order (this screen shot only included 1).
Participants can also see if times are available,
number of credits, eligibility and your “tag line.”
What do the participants see?
Once participants click on a study….
… they can choose to view available time slots at
the bottom.
What do the participants see?
Timeslots are listed like this:
The participant just clicks on a time to sign up!
The participant can still see other times after signing
up, in case he/she wants to change to another
What do the participants see?
Sona automatically sends an email to them
confirming the sign-up.
The reply-to email is the researchers!
Depending on your settings (when you set-up your
study) the system will email you too!
Sona also sends the participant a confirmation email
the night before (5:00 PM).
What do the participants see?
From the main page, participants can also track
their credits and calendar.
Now that they signed up:
You can also click on timeslots and see who is
Now that they participated:
When you go to “my studies” you can view your
uncredited timeslots.
Now that they participated:
To simply grant the standard amount of credit you
specified, choose “grant credit.” YOU HAVE TO
Now that they participated:
Sona won’t let them participate again!