The SONA system is a web portal that allows researchers in the Psychology Department to post studies for which they may need participants. Some PSYC and CD classes allow students to participate in these studies for extra credit. PSYC 100 students are required to participate in these studies for credit (see the PSYC 100 Research Requirement in the left-side navigation bar for information about the requirement).
Signing up for a SONA account
You must create a Participant account in SONA to sign-up for studies. Follow the steps below:
- Go to csusb.sona-systems.com
- Click the “Request Account” button. Note: You must do this at the beginning of each academic year (so, each Fall semester you need to recreate your account). All participant accounts are deleted at the end of the academic year!
- Enter your first and last name.
- Your User ID is your Coyote ID number. You may only enter your 9-digit Coyote ID number in this field. User accounts created using anything other than the 9-digit Coyote ID number will be deleted, and any SONA credits accrued on non-ID number accounts will be lost.
- Select your courses. Make sure you are selecting the correct time/days/instructor associated with your classes. There are multiple sections of many courses, and some instructors teach multiple classes.
- You will receive an email with your login information.
- After logging in, acknowledge the SONA policies.
- Go to the “My Profile” section to change your password from the temporary one you received via email to one you can remember!
Follow all instructions on the SONA pages!
Studies are only allowed to occur during weeks of scheduled class meeting times (NOT during breaks between semesters or finals week). All studies should be posted during regularly scheduled course semesters.
SONA research studies take place during Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters (not Winter intersession).
Please note: You MUST chose a course to apply your SONA credit to before the end of the semester. Credits not assigned to a course 2 days following the close of SONA for the semester will be lost.
First day for student participation on SONA: First day of classes
Last day for student participation on SONA: Last day of classes, 5pm
Final day to assign credit to SONA participants: 1 day after the last day of classes, 5pm (e.g., Saturday following the last Friday class)
Deadline for students to assign SONA credits to courses: 2 days following the last day of classes, 5pm (e.g., Sunday following the last Friday class)
Time for Instructors to download course credit reports: 3-7 days following the last day of classes, 9am (e.g., Monday-Friday of finals week)
General SONA Information
If you forget your password, use the “Forgot password?” button on the SONA login page. The system will send you an email with a reset password so you can log in. The SONA admin team does not have access to your password, so if you email us about a forgotten password, all they will do is tell you to use the Forgot Password button.
Students are limited to participating in 18 units of online studies per semester. In addition, your instructor might have other restrictions on the number of credits you can earn in a course through SONA.
Studies are posted at the discretion of researchers. Sometimes at the end of the semester there are no more studies available because researchers have all the participants they need. Do not count on there being available studies. If SONA is offered as an extra credit option in your class, the instructor is required to offer an alternative in case you cannot or do not want to participate in researcher. You should ask your instructor about the alternative if there are no studies available to you.
If you "No Show" twice (that is, sign up for a study and do not show up to participate or do not participate online that you signed up for), your account will be locked for the rest of the semester and you will be unable to participate in any more SONA studies.
If you will not be able to attend a study that you signed up for, you should cancel your sign up (go to “My schedule/credits” after you log in to see the studies you are signed up for. And select the specific study to cancel your sign up). Usually, you have until 24 hours before a study to cancel your sign up. This varies by study - read the study information!
If you are no longer able to cancel a sign up for a study because it is too close to the study time, you should contact the study researcher. You will see the researcher’s name listed with the study information and an envelope icon. Click that icon to send them an email. Do not contact the psychology department office or the SONA admin team. They do not administer specific studies and your message may or may not eventually make it to the researcher.
The Psychology Department Office cannot provide you information about study times or locations. You must refer to the Study Information in SONA.
Be sure to assign your credits to a class! Unassigned credits do not carry over to future semesters and will be lost once SONA is closed for the semester!
To add a course after you have created your account, go to “My Profile” and click the “Change Courses” button. Select the classes you would like to be able to apply your credits toward.
To assign credits to a class go to “My Schedule/Credits.” You can use the “Reassign” button to move credits around. You must already have your courses selected to assign credits to them.
If you do not see your class that means that class does not allow for SONA extra credit and you cannot assign any units to it.
Credits from a single study cannot be split among courses, but separate studies can be assigned to different classes.
If you have any questions or concerns about anything related to a study- credit decisions, study locations, study procedures - contact the researcher on the study (click the envelope icon next to their name in the study information). Do not contact the SONA admin team.
Any questions related to the SONA system (account log-in and creation, how to assign credits to courses, etc.) you may contact SONA admin team at firstname.lastname@example.org. If your question is answered on this page, you will be directed to look here.