To register for the Paid Research System you must be at least 18 years old, and : (1) Create an account in the online system, and (2) Complete the pretest. First, go to the website http://uiuc-paid.sona-systems.com/ and click Request an Account on the bottom left of the screen. Use your preferred email address to register. Your password will be sent to that email address within 24 hours. Next you will fill out a pretest used to determine your eligibility for various studies. The Paid Research System is purged at the end of each summer, so you will need to re-register each fall if you want to continue participating in studies.
If you want to participate in some studies for course credit and others for pay, you have to register separately in the Psychology Paid Research System even if you have already registered in the Psychology Course Credit Participant Pool. That includes completing the pretest questions even if you have already done so for the Course Credit Participant Pool. You cannot receive both course credit and pay for the same study, and you cannot change your mind later about which you want to get for a particular study you have done.
Once you have registered, you can sign up for studies. To sign up for studies, log in to the Psychology Paid Research System website and click the Study Sign-Up box. This will take you to a list of the studies that you are eligible to participate in. You can also click on Studies from the top toolbar and a list will be provided. This page shows in-person lab studies or virtual zoom studies that are available on a particular day and online studies that are due on a particular day. You can select a different date by using the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Studies that currently have available participation times (timeslots) will have “TIMESLOTS AVAILABLE” listed next to the study. If none of the studies have available timeslots, you may want to log on to the system a few days later to see if new timeslots have been added. For each study, you can see available timeslots, the length of the study, and the study type (e.g., multi-part study). Some studies have requirements that you must meet in order to take part in them. Pay close attention to a study’s requirements and do not sign up for it if you do not meet them. Please note that some lab studies are not held in the Psychology Building, so pay attention to the study’s location. For scheduled sessions, you will receive a reminder email the night before the study. However, you are responsible for properly completing the study even if you do not get the email.
Registration consists of creating an account and completing the pretest questionnaire. This allows you to be eligible to sign up for studies. The Paid Research system will be purged once per year at the end of the summer, so if you want to continue participating in studies for more than one year, you will need to re-register each fall.
The subject pool system does not use the same passwords that you use for other university services. Also, the whole system will be purged once per year at the end of the summer so that it is not clogged with accounts for people who are no longer at the University or who no longer want to participate in studies. That means you will have to re-register in the system each fall. In the bottom left-hand corner, click New participant, request an account here. If you have already created an account this semester, and cannot remember your password, click Lost Password. You will be able to retrieve your password by following the steps outlined there. If you have received 2 Unexcused No-Shows, your account may be locked (see below for more information). If you are still unable to log in or retrieve your password, please contact the Subject Pool Coordinator.
Yes, you may use the same user name and password to log in to the Paid SONA. However, if it has been a while since you last logged in, you may be asked to retake the prescreen questionnaire again.
First, make sure you are looking in the right spot for studies to sign up for (see Q2 above). Second, the system only shows you the studies that are available on a particular day, so you need to make sure you are checking a variety of different dates for available studies. You can select a different date by using the menu at the top of the study sign-up page. Third, you will not see any available studies if your account is locked (see Q9-10). Fourth, the system only shows you the studies that you are qualified for. Do not panic if there are no studies posted for the first few days of the semester. Studies are posted throughout the semester as researchers are ready to run them. There is no specific schedule for when studies are posted, which is why you need to check the site frequently. Dates and times fill up quickly, so you should check often. You must schedule studies via the Paid SONA website, and you must attend at the date/time that you’ve scheduled.
A No-Show includes any situation in which the participant does not complete a study session. A No-Show is not necessarily a penalty. Any of the following situations can be classified as a No-Show: a missed session, a late arrival to a session, failure to complete an online study, a session that the researcher canceled less than 24 hours in advance, or a participant choosing to or being asked to leave. If you receive two Unexcused No-Shows, your account will be locked. While your account is locked, you will be unable to sign up for studies, although you can still take part in any studies that you have already signed up for and will receive credit for any studies completed thus far. Your account can be unlocked after you have completed additional online ethics training at https://www.citiprogram.org/. You will need to submit documentation (the completion certificate) that you have successfully completed the ethics training before your account can be unlocked.
If you missed at least two studies without providing proper documentation, then you were marked as an Unexcused No-Show for those absences and your account has been locked/disabled. See above.
Accounts are locked/disabled if a participant has received 2 or more Unexcused No-Shows. You can be marked as Unexcused No-Show if you do not have a valid excuse for missing or arriving late to a scheduled study. While your account is locked, you will NOT be able to sign up for studies, although you can still take part in any studies that you have already signed up for before the account was locked. There are two ways in which you can get your account unlocked. First, you can provide documentation justifying at least one of the Unexcused No-Shows. Documentation would include a letter from the emergency dean, McKinley, or other authorized professional. The second option is to complete additional online ethics training at https://www.citiprogram.org/. You will need to submit the completion certificate to show that you have successfully completed the ethics training before your account can be unlocked. Send all documentation via email. Without documentation justifying the Unexcused No-Show or showing your completion of the ethics training, your account will remain locked for the remainder of the year. Contact the Subject Pool Coordinator for more information.
If it is more than 24 hours before the appointment, then you can cancel online in the Paid Research System. Log in and click My Schedule/Credits. This screen shows studies that you are signed up for. If an appointment is more than 24 hours away, there will be a Cancel button next to it. Once you click Cancel, you will need to confirm that you want to cancel the appointment. Print a copy of this page as a record of your cancellation. If it is less than 24 hours before the appointment, or if you miss an appointment, you need to email both the researcher in charge of the study and the Subject Pool Coordinator ASAP. Please include justification for the cancellation/absence and any supporting documentation. This information will be reviewed and in certain cases (emergency, documented illness, etc), the No-Show may be Excused. Typically, if you cancel less than 24 hours in advance or miss an appointment, it will be considered an Unexcused No-Show.
As soon as you realize that you are not going to make your appointment, you need to email both the researcher in charge of the study and the Subject Pool Coordinator ASAP. Please include justification for the cancellation/absence and any supporting documentation. This information will be reviewed and in certain cases (emergency, documented illness, etc), the No-Show may be Excused.
Sometimes, a researcher must cancel a study. If a researcher cancels less than 24 hours in advance, they should email both you and the Subject Pool Coordinator and explain that the absence should be excused because the session was canceled. You will not be paid for any session that is cancelled by the researcher.
If you feel that a study violates your moral, religious, or ethical values, or makes you feel uncomfortable, you can withdraw from the study. In such cases, you may receive partial payment for the amount of time you have spent.
If you sign up for a multiple session study it is your responsibility to attend all of the sessions or cancel your participation in the entire study. However, you may receive pro-rated payment for partial completion of a multi-session study.
Log in to your Paid Research System account and make sure that you are at the correct study location at the scheduled date/time. The researcher should also have access to the most up-to-date timeslots for their study on their Paid SONA system. If you can verify that you are at the correct date/time/place/study #, then you should be able to participate. If not, then you will not be able to participate.
Email the Subject Pool Coordinator and provide as much information as you can about the study (time, location, room, researcher name, study description) ASAP.
Understand that you are only required to participate in each study for its specified duration. You are not required to do anything that you were not informed about before you began the study. On occasion an experimenter might email you before or after an experiment and ask you to complete additional sessions or surveys. Unless this is part of a multi-session study, you are not required to complete this additional information, but may do so voluntarily or for monetary compensation.