Credit: Students may earn some or all of their SRPCs by participating as a research subject. Each hour or fraction thereof earns one SRPC. Some studies take less than an hour to complete; however, the minimum SRPC awarded for participation is one credit. A study that requires more than one hour of time, but less than two hours, is worth two SRPCs. Consistent with this guideline, researchers determine the worth (in credits) for their studies and can include other factors related to level of demand of the study. The number of credits is established and published on the SONA website, an experiment management system. The most common example of this is that additional credit may be awarded for some "in-person studies" (that is, studies that are not completed online). Thus, a study taking 60 minutes or less and conducted on campus is typically worth two credits. The number of SRPCs a study is worth will be noted on the description for that study.
Credit will be awarded in SONA within three days of participation and students should check their accounts. Researchers need time to confirm participation and award the credit in SONA. Students do not need to contact professors.
There are other SONA systems at the University of Nevada, Reno. Criminal justice classes use the Social Research SONA system. Use only this SONA in order to meet class requirements; it is separate from the Department of Psychology SONA. If students participate in a SONA that is not used in their class, their participation will not register credit for the class, so check the web address carefully at the time of registration.
Students must go on the SONA system and assign the credits to their course. If students fail to indicate what class they want credit for by assigning the credit to a class, they won't get credit. Make sure to assign the credits to the correct class, the correct professor and the correct semester.
To sign-up for a survey or experiment, you should:
- Obtain an account for the social research sign-up system. You can do this by clicking on the "request an account" link and fill in the information requested. A username and password will then be emailed to you.
- Log into the SONA system using your username and password.
- Click on the link for an available study and read the information page for that study. Read the restrictions carefully to be sure that you qualify as a participant (e.g., if you are male, do not sign up for a study that is for females only). After viewing the studies available to you, select the study in which you wish to participate, and the appointment time that fits your schedule. Each study listed will contain the day, date, time and room in which it is conducted. Some of the studies available can be completed online and do not require a trip to campus. Studies change throughout the semester, with some ending and new ones starting before the term is over. If you do not find one that is at a time convenient for you, check back in a few days and you are likely to find new alternatives to choose from.
- Pick a time slot that you can attend and click on the "sign-up" button.
- Note the time and location of the study. If the building the study is conducted in is unfamiliar to you, re-read the information page to see if instructions on how to locate the building and room are provided for you. If there are no instructions, email the researcher for more information on how to locate their study. Not all studies require a visit to campus.
- An email reminder will be sent to you as a confirmation that you signed up and a reminder email will be sent to you 24 hours before your appointment.
- If a conflict arises and it becomes necessary to cancel your appointment, you may do so up to 24 hours before your appointment time without penalty. You may do so by signing into the SONA system and canceling your appointment. If an emergency arises and you are not able to attend your appointment or cancel in the allotted time, send an email to the researcher explaining the circumstances and you will be able to sign up for that study again.
- You must go on the SONA system and assign the credits to your course and professor. If you fail to assign credits to your course/professor, then your professor will not know you did the study.
Students who are minors (younger than 18 years old)
Students who have not reached their 18th birthday at the time of a research or professional training are not permitted to participate in research studies, unless the research study specifically identifies minors as a population of interest in the study description. In this case, students who are minors will be required to sign an assent form. If there are no studies available for minors, please do options 2 or 3 for credit, or make other arrangements with your professor.
During the study
You do not have to participate in, or complete, any specific study and you are under no obligation to give reasons if you decide not to participate, or if you decide to leave before completing the study. There are no penalties in such cases. If you decide to leave before the study has begun, you will neither receive a SRPC for participating nor be penalized by losing a SRPC for not participating. If you change your mind about participating after beginning participation in the study, you will not be penalized, but you will not receive credit. You do not have to answer every question on the survey, but you do have to complete a substantial portion of the study in order to get credit.
In order to make participating in research studies a meaningful learning experience, at the conclusion of the experiment the researcher will briefly explain the study. If you have questions, feel free to ask them during this explanation stage.