It is imortant to create timeslots also for online studies. First, it allows to limit the number of participants and to set a participation deadline. Second, it makes possible to monitor who used the study link to participate via SONA.
We recommend that you ask participants to enter their 4-digit SONA-ID in your online questionnaire platform to be able to verify their participattion and to assign credits (VP-Stunden) in SONA.
SONA is able to communicate with several external online questionnaire systems. Information about this functionality can be found here: www.sona-systems.com/help
Please also check further information under "Special features for online studies" in the FAQs.
Once a week (on Saturdays), SONA sends out a personalised email to all participants with a list of studies for which they could sign up (feature activated on 28/June 2019). The order of this list is randomised. Participants may opt out to receive these emails according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
It is not necessary for you to send out study invitations! In addition, there is the possibility to send an invitation email for your own study. This should be an absolute exception!
A description of how to proceed in this exceptional case follows. A study-specific email is not being sent as a private person but on behalf of a research project and as part of SONA in general. This means that a number of formal criteria must be met (such as salutation, adequate information, link to the study, your title, name, contact information - see an example below).
When you send emails to potential participants, please provide complete contact information including your department or project, address etc. For example:
First and last name
University of Potsdam
Psycholinguistics / H. XX / R. X.XX
Phone: 0331 977 XXX
Fax: 0331 977 XXXX
It is important to document participation and to do the credit (VP-Stunden) granting in a timely manner. To do so, go in your SONA study to All Timeslots and select → Modify :
→ This is important: If a participant has 3 Unexcused No-Shows, the account of this participant will be automatically blocked from further sign-ups.
As long as timeslots remain "uncredited", you will receive weekly emails with a reminder from SONA.
Even if participants receive a signature from you, all timeslots should be accurately marked as "participated, received XX participant hours" or "un-/excused no-show"! SONA can only efficiently work if the system is constantly updated and all data are actual.
For online studies: For external online studies there is the option of automatic credit granting which means that after successful participation the external platform can communicate with SONA. A number of platforms is supported by SONA (i.a. Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey, LimeSurvey, Unipark, etc.). More information can be found here: www.sona-systems.com/help
If a study is completed it should be set to "inactive". This setting is found in the Study Menu under "Change Study Information". Before you do that make sure that all participations are properly documented and that there are no appointments "awaiting action" from the researcher.
In case you do not need your researcher role anymore please contact the SONA team.
Granting of credits should be handled as consistently as possible. For each half hour or part thereof participants will receive 0.5 credits (VP-Stunde). If an experimental session took a bit longer than planned, you may adjust the credit value for this session on an individual basis and according to this rule.
IMPORTANT: Credits (VP-Stunden) are documented in SONA. This documentation is sufficient for students of sport psychology, linguistics (since 19/June/2019) and psychology (since 20/May/2020). Therefore it is not necessary anymore, to document credits for in SONA registered credits on a separate signature sheet of the participant. Participants that do not participate via SONA such a signature sheet can be obtained from PsychMoodle (under "Versuchspersonenstunden") and should be printed out. Multiple studies fit on one sheet.