SONA – a guide for participants and researchers

What is SONA?

SONA is a cloud-based research and participant management system for universities.  The SONA website is SONA systems

A guide for Participants

Participants, of which the majority are Year 1 Psychology Undergraduate Students, must, as part of their course, complete 4 hours’ worth of research participation each semester. This makes up of 8% of their final mark in each semester. 30 minutes of SONA study equates to 0.5 credit and they must achieve 4 credits to be awarded the 8%.

All Year 1 Undergraduate Students will be required to register for a SONA Participant Account from the SONA website. Please contact the SONA Administrator if you encounter any issues.

Please follow the guidelines below when using SONA:

  • Only use your University Email address
  • Only sign up for your course(s) (and the Volunteer/Paid pool if you wish)
  • Always cancel your appointment via SONA if you find out that you will not be   able to attend (3 unexcused no shows will lead to a deduction of 1 credit from your total)
  • It is the participant’s responsibility to assign credit to their correct course (My Schedule/Credits)
  • Consult your student handbook for the final date for completion of credits. Any credits earned after that date will be lost.
  • Participants’ details will be deleted from SONA course pools at the end of each academic year
  • Participants’ credits are set to 0 prior to Semester 2 starting
  • Please watch the following participant tutorial video prior to using SONA

A guide for Researchers

Researchers can create studies and recruit participants from the subject pool. Reward for participation in studies can be course credit or cash payment. PPLS works on the basis of .5 credit for every 30 minutes of study participation undertaken (or part thereof).

You can request a Researcher Account by emailing the SONA Administrator with your name, and university email address.

Please following the guideline below when using SONA:

  • Researchers cannot have any eligibility requirements for credit studies (i.e. it is not allowed to require that participants are native English speakers, of a particular gender, or a particular diet, etc.)
  • Ethics expiration date in SONA must match that on the ethics form
  • Ethics form must state SONA will be used to recruit participants
  • Credits must be awarded in a timely manner
  • Be aware of students end of semester credit accrual deadline prior to creating     timeslots on SONA (this deadline is usually close to the end of teaching in a given semester)
  • A PI must be named; if your PI does not have a SONA account, they should email the SONA Administrator to obtain one
  • Studies without recent activity will be deleted at the end of each academic year
  • Researchers who have not logged into SONA within a year, will be deleted at the end of each academic year.
  • Ethics approval is required for all studies, apart from Year 3 Mini-dissertations. Once the study has been created, the researcher must request approval, in order for the study to go live.
  • You must watch the following researcher tutorial video prior to using SONA