SONA Admin Manual

Last modified by Kerwin Olfers on 2023/09/06 13:20

Note: this is the manual for SONA administrators, if you are a researcher please see the Researcher Manual instead.



Kerwin J.F. Olfers (, Maureen Meekel (


Student assistants


This is a working document providing support on the SONA platform. SONA is a participant management platform, on which researchers can advertise their studies to eligible participants. All first year Psychology and Child and Educational Studies bachelor students are given account on SONA, and their participation can earn them course credit or monetary compensation. Other students or non-students can also apply for participant accounts. While course credit is managed within SONA, monetary compensation is the sole responsibility of the researcher, and cannot be automated in SONA (yet).

Providing support for SONA users is a daily activity and emails should be answered in 1-2 days.

In this document we distinguish in the various sections between: Maintenance Tasks (tasks that are done on a daily or weekly basis, are relatively quick, and can be done by both [ADMIN] and [ASSIST]),

Yearly Tasks (Generally more intensive/complicated tasks, such as cleaning the accounts database and uploading batch files for first-year accounts. For now these will be done by [ADMIN], at least until a full description is made), F.A.Q. (Questions and problem that may occur that fall outside of the regular scope of the above mentioned tasks).

Feel free to update and improve this document, and in case of question / unclarity, please contact one of the ADMIN


Every DayCheck emails (e.g. new account, new roles, study approval, awarding credits)ASSIS
Once per weekCheck study titlesASSIS
Once per semesterBatch Enroll new StudentsADMIN
Once per yearClean up databaseADMIN
Twice per yearCheck credits and provide overview to course coordinatorsADMIN

Email Support

  1. You should have access to the shared mailbox. If this is not the case, please contact one of the SOLO colleagues.
  2. To login to SONA, go to:
  3. When you start working on a longer email / task, please give it the category label [1. Processing] right away, that way others won’t accidentally start working on the same email.
  4. After you’ve finished working on an email, please archive the email thread by calendar year, using the appropriate rule in the quicksteps (e.g. 2021 –proefpersonen)

User Manuals

There are several manuals that can be useful.

New Accounts and Role Requests

When an account request (e.g. new account or new role) is received via email, follow the following steps.

  1. Make sure the following information is present:
    • Firstname & Lastname,
    • ULCN name OR Student number
    • Positions (e.g. bachelor or master student + Psychology / Child Studies, PhD candidate, PostDoc, Professor), Requested role (participant, researcher, PI)
    • Name of supervisor (in case of researcher account for bachelor or master students)
    • University email address.
    • If any of the above information is missing, please send a reply to ask for the missing information, and archive the email (see step 7).
  2. Go to log in as administrator. Go to User Management -> View and Edit Users
  3. Check if a current account already exists, by searching for the last name and / or email address. Especially in the case of students, also try their student number (with and without the “s” ). If an account exists, edit the account rather than making a new account, and make sure to check if the other information (e.g. email address) is still up-to-date and in line with step 1.1622467027009-824.png
  4. If no account exists yet, use the Add New User functionality on the right side of the screen, and pick the appropriate role. If multiple accounts exist for the same user (e.g. with different email addresses please refer to merging accounts. Also note the following:
    • For Researcher role: if the requester is a student (bachelor or master), first make a New Participant (Student) account instead and then add the Researcher role to it.
    • For P.I. role: make sure the requester has completed their PhD (so PostDocs, associate professor, full professor etc). If you are not sure, first try looking for them on the university website to see their current title. If you cannot find it, send the requester an email. If they do not have a PhD yet, explain that their supervisor must have the P.I. account, and they can have a Researcher account.
  5. Enter the information for the account, in the following steps
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • User ID:
      • Students: use studentnr (e.g. s123456),
      • Everyone else: use the lastname + initials (e.g. Kerwin Olfers would become olfersk). For last names starting with “van” or “de” use that as an initial as well (e.g. Kerwin van Olfers = olfersvk).
    • Email: Make sure it is a university email (replace the current one if needed)
    • Password, Student ID, Phone: leave empty
    • Courses:
      • First year bachelor students: add the relevant course, e.g. “Pedagogiek 2020-2021 (voor credits)”, by clicking on it.
      • Other participants: add the “Deelname voor geld” course.
      • All others: leave unselected
    • Admin Comments:
      • For bachelor and master students requesting a Researcher role (e.g. for thesis). Fill in the name of their supervisor here
      • All others: leave empty.
    • Email user with their login information: set to Yes.
    • Save Changes
    • Role: In case roles need to be added, make sure the above information is filled in first and the changes are saved (opening the roles menu before the other information is saved will reset everything). Then go back to edit the account again and add the desired role, and save again.
    • It is recommended for Researcher accounts to also add the Participant role, so that users can test their own studies.

  6. Send a reply to the requester, informing them that the account has been made / role has been added, and the login information has been sent to their university email. For researcher roles. you can use the template below. To make it easier for you to quickly use this template you can add it as a signature in Outlook. That way you can insert it later with just one click.1622467165692-449.png
  7. Dear XXXX,

    The XXXX account has been made for you / The XXX role has been added to your account.

    The login information has been sent to your university email.

    You can find the SONA website here.

    When using SONA for the first time, please make sure to check the SONA Rules, for more information see the Researcher Manual , or the F.A.Q. section (for the last one you need to logged in to SONA).

    Below we highlight some of the most common issues when creating a new study:

    • Credit vs Paid: Only pick the “Paid” option if you never want to compensate with credits.
    • Study Title: Do not start your study title with symbols (e.g. * ! ?) or include HTML code, these will be removed by us. Do not advertise your study as giving a lot of credits for a short amount of time (e.g. “Earn 1 credit for ONLY 10 minutes!”), this is not allowed.
    • Eligibility: Make sure to indicate all requirements here. Both the Title and the Eligibility text are shown in the main study list to participants. We highly recommend logging in as a participant once to see what this looks like.
    • Online studies: In case of online studies (e.g. Qualtrics, OpenSesame), consider the “Detailed Help” section to see how to share participants numbers in the URL for automatic credit granting.
    • Prescreening: Prescreening questions in SONA are not possible / enabled.
    • CEP Code / Expiration: Studies on SONA can only be approved if you have a code from one of the Ethics Committee's to indicate that your study was approved by them. The expiration date on SONA should reflect the anticipated end-date of your study, as specified in your submission to the Ethics Committee (and not the 5-year limit of the approval).
    • Activate / Deactivate: Do not activate your study until you are sure all settings are correct. Once you are finished with your study, don't forget to deactivate it.
  8. Apply the appropriate category label, e.g. [Account Participant].
  9. Archive the thread to the right folder (you can use one of the rules in the “Quick Steps” menu of Outlook, e.g.:1622467301472-852.png

Merging Accounts

Sometimes students or staff end up with multiple accounts, e.g. with different usernames or email addresses. In such cases it is better to merge the duplicate accounts into one account. Only accounts which have no overlapping roles can be merged. To do this

  1. Check which accounts exist for the user, and which email, roles and username are associated with each account.
  2. IF each account has distinct non-overlapping roles (e.g. account A has participant role, account B has researcher and PI role), the accounts can be merged without any additional steps.
    • Open one of the accounts (it does not really matter which)
    • Go to "Change Roles"
    • At the bottom in the Merge User ID field, enter the User ID of the other account.
    • Press "Merge Users"
    • Check to make sure that the email is set to the users university email, and that the username is set to student id or ULCN username.
    • In the account view, use the "Email User ID and New Password"
    • Finally email the user to let them know the accounts are merged, and notify them of the associated username (of login) and email.
  3. IF the account has overlapping roles, e.g. account A has participant and researchers role and B has participant role. Check if both accounts have associated Study Sign-Ups (on the bottom of the account overview screen) or for researcher/PI roles associated studies (on the right of the screen).
    • IF one account has no activity associated with one of the overlapping roles, e.g. an account with participant role but no Study Sign-Ups, remove that role from the account. Note: if you see a warning screen saying there are study-sign ups / studies that would be removed, do not proceed and press cancel. If no overlapping roles remain after this, go back to Step 2.
    • IF both account have activity associated with the overlapping roles. Please notify the user that the account cannot be merged due to this reason. Instead, one of the two accounts can be set to inactive. Ask the user which account they wish to have deactivated. For students you can explain that at the end of the year, the credits from both accounts will be summed up, so they do not need to worry about that.

Removing Account

Sometimes users or teachers / coordinators will request that accounts be removed / deleted from SONA e.g. because they are no longer working / studying a Leiden University, or because they do not want to receive email notification anymore. Please note that we are not allowed to do so, because of obligations to store certain data for a specific time. Instead we have the following options:

  1. If a user requests his/her own account be deleted.
    • We can deactivate their account instead. Go to User Management > View / Edit Users > find the account > Edit User > set "Active Status" to "No - Inactive".
    • Inform the user that his/her account has been deactivated and will be removed in the course of yearly maintenance and archival.
    • If they insist on having their account and information removed immediately, please forward the email to one of the admins with the privacy officers ( in the CC.
  2. If a teacher/coordinator requests account removal for users (e.g. because a student dropped out of the Bachelors),
    • remove the associated course from the users account and put it to "Deelname voor geld / Participation for money" instead
    • contact the users themselves and asked them whether they also want their account to be deactivated, or if they wish to keep their account.

Login Credentials

Sometimes users cannot find / retrieve their login information anymore, and the reset functionality on SONA does not work for them. In such cases do the following:

  1. Check if an account exists for this user, search using email, lastname, studentnr (with and without “s”). See also here [LINK TO STEPS ABOVE]
  2. If an account exists, check if the registered email is a university email, and if not, update it.
  3. Check if the User ID is correct:
    • For students: their student number with “s” (e.g. s12345)
    • For everyone else: use their ULCN name
  4. Save Changes if any have been made, then go back into the account edit screen, and at the bottom click on:
  5. Email the participant, letting them know the new login information has been sent to their university email. Please include their email address so there can be no confusion. Apply to category label [Login Credentials] and archive the email (see here).

Study Approval

Studies on SONA have to be approved by the Ethics committee and be set to active to be visible to participants. Ethics committee approvals come with a code and an expiration date, e.g.:

CEP19-1230/597 (expires 31 August 2020). If an expiration date is not explicitly mentioned in the approval, the researcher should use the date he/she filled in for the original submission to the Ethics Committee (“ 24. What is the expected end date of the study? “) . They can find this on the Ethic submission platform:

Researcher are supposed to fill in this information when they make a new study. If either of this information is missing, if the researcher has forgotten to select the ‘approved’ options when making the study, or if the expiration date has been reached, the study will no longer be active. Researcher can contact us about this via “Study Approval” emails sent from SONA. Below are the steps to take in the different possible scenarios:

  1. Researcher forgot to add CEP code, expiration date or ‘approved’ check when making the study:
    • Check if the CEP code and expiration date are mentioned in the email, if not, ask the researcher to send you those
    • Go to log in as administrator. Go to Studies -> View Studies and select the “All” tab.
    • Use the search box to search for the title of the study as mentioned in the email.
    • Click on “Study Info"
    • Go to Study Menu -> Change Study Information
    • Fill in the Ethics Committee Approval Code.
    • Change the Approval Expiration. Note: you need to use the pop-up menu to select a new data, manually entering a new date does not work.
    • Select the Approved? Yes option
    • If requested by researcher, select the Active Study? Yes option.
    • Save Changes
    • Finally   Send an email reply to the Research confirming the changes, label the thread with the [Study Approval] category, and archive the mails
  2. Extension requested. Sometimes researchers want an extension to the expiration data (for instance because CORONA has made getting participants more difficult).
    • If case the extension is relatively brief (1-6 months), update the Approval Expiration to the requested date.
    • If the expiration date is >6 months but within 5 years from the original approval date, update the Expiration date and tell the researcher to send an email to the Ethics committee informing them of the extended date.
    • If the extension is >6 months and more then 5 years from the original approval date the researcher needs to ask (and gain) permission from the Ethics Committee first, before we can change the date.
    • Finally   Send an email reply to the Research confirming the changes, label the thread with the [Study Approval] category, and archive the mails

Awarding Credits

Sometimes problems occur with awarding participant credits for successful participation. Below we explain the steps for different situations.

  1. Request from Participant. If a participant emails about missing credits
    • Check if they mentioned the study name/title, the timeslot (i.e. date and time) and/or responsible researcher.
    • Find the timeslot in question to make sure the participant was enrolled and has indeed not been awarded credits. You could either look for the study by title, go to Study Menu -> View/Administer Time Slots and go to the All Timeslots tab and there search (control + f) for the participant. OR you could go to User Management, search for the participant, open the profile and go to View Study Sign-Ups.
    • Contact the researchers associated with the study. You can find the contact information in the Study Information screen at the bottom left of the page. Right click on the email icon and copy the email address. Then send an email to all the involved researcher + principal investigator. Mention the problem, indicate whether or not you found the timeslot and can confirm that the credits have not yet been awarded, and ask them if they can confirm participant and award the credits. If there is reason not to award the credits, they should email the participant with us in the CC. If they cannot award the credit due to technical difficulties, see the steps below.
  2. Request from Researcher. Sometimes researchers want to award credits but are unable to.
    • Make sure they know how to award credits in Timeslots (e.g. point them towards the Researcher Manual in the F.A.Q. tab on SONA). If they still can’t manage to do it, you can award the credit in the timeslot for them.
    • If there is no timeslot OR if the researcher accidentally made a study for money compensation only (and so no credits can be awarded), you will need to award credits manually. To do this, look for the participant in User Management open their profile and on the right side of the screen use the Grant Credit option. Make sure to indicate in the comments: that the credits were awarded by SOLO, the name of study and the PI of the study.
  3. Request for Study Change. Sometimes researchers have filled in the wrong number of credits for their study and/or wish to extend the session length of their study and increase the credits correspondingly. In such cases:
    • If it was a mistake by the researcher when making the study, log in as admin and change the credits in the study information.
    • If the researcher wants to extend the study by 30 min & 1 credit (or less), log in as admin and change the credits.
    • If the extension is for more then 30 min or 1 credit, please ask the researcher if they have permission for this from the ethics committee, if/when they do, you can change the credits.

Study Title Check

Not needed at the moment!

Studies are shown to participants in random order. Even so, sometimes researchers put special symbols, numbers or HTML code at the start of their study title, to try to stand out. This is not allowed, as is also explained in the manual. Furthermore, researcher often include information like “DUTCH ONLY” in the title. This is also not preferred. The likely reason is that for a researcher account, the list of studies looks very different then for a participant account. For the latter the list looks like this:

As seen in the picture, the Eligibility field is where researcher can indicate that only Dutch, 18+ or right-handed (and so forth) participants can apply.

  1. Login to SONA as administrator go to Studies -> Active, look for study titles that violate the guidelines (e.g. titles starting with ***---!!) If you find one:
  2. Go to Study Info, remove the offending symbols from the start of the title. And send an email to the responsible researchers, informing them that you have changed the title and why. For instance:
  3. Dear sir, madam,

    Your study title: […], is not in line with the rules and guidelines for SONA (see also the researcher manual).

    Specifically: titles cannot start with symbols, numbers, or HTML code. The only exception is to indicate if a study is online [ONLINE] or in the lab [LAB].

    Furthermore, we strongly suggest putting all eligibility criteria (e.g. Dutch only, right-handed, etc) in the Eligibility field instead of the title. As this field is shown specifically to the participants in the list of all studies. Note: the list of all studies looks very different when logged in a as a participant vs when logged in as a researcher.

    Finally, we recommend putting compensation and duration information at the end of the title, between brackets, e.g.:

    [ONLINE] This is the topic of the study [1 Credit] – [30 Minutes]

    For now we have removed the symbols at the start of your study title. You can further (re)adjust the title as you like.

    Kind regards,

    SONA Support

Yearly Credit Completion Lists

Below the steps are explained that are needed to generated the yearly lists of students who have completed their credit requirements (i.e. 16 credits).

Inspect Penalties

As of 2018 Psychology students who fail to show up without prior notification (i.e. unexcused no-show) for studies that they enrolled for (or fail to complete online studies before the deadline), can be given a credit penalty by the researchers. This penalty is equal to the to-be-awarded credits for the study, with a max of 3 credits per no-show. However, the 3-credit limit cannot be enforced in SONA automatically, therefore we need to check whether any students have received larger penalties. To do this

  1. Generate a credit history report for the relevant course (e.g. Psychology 2020-2021) via Tasks  > Generate Report -> Course Credit History. Pick the course, set date range to "All Dates", and select "Include Credit Comments", output to a CSV file. Save / move the file to the folder: J:\departments\FSW\FAC\SOLO\Lab-support\004 Fabrikanten\SONA\Docs\Reports
  2. [MACRO VERSION] Try approach first
    • Open the excel called "SONA_Admin_Macros" in J:\departments\FSW\FAC\SOLO\Lab-support\004 Fabrikanten\SONA\Docs\
    • In the "Overview" tab Click on the button called "Penalty Check Psychology"
    • Check if there are any participants who show up with "Unexcused No-show" and have penalties larger than 3 (in the "Amount" column), and have not met "Credit Earned" criteria of 16 credit, e,g,:
  3. [OPTIONAL MANUAL VERSION] Do this only if the Macro approach from Step 2 does not work!
    • Open the file in Excel,
    • if needed use Data > Text to column (delimiter: comma) to make the output readable.
    • Add filters to the column names.
    • Filter "Credit Activity" to only show "Unexcused No-Show")
    • On the column  "Amount" filter for values larger than 3
  4. For penalties larger than 3, look up the student and the relevant timeslot to check if the credits were already returned at a later point by the researchers or SOLO. If the penalty credits were not already returned we need to manually return the excess credits via Non-Study Credit Grant (see Awarding Credits), include the note "Credits penalty limit returned by SOLO for [experiment_id]". Experiment_id can be found in the hyperlink to the study. For instance: "Credits penalty limit returned by SOLO for experiment_id=2820"
  5. Note that for Pedagogical Science students, there is no penalty system. So check if they have been given penalties by accident, see Step 2 but use the "Penalty Check Pedagogical Sciences" instead. And if so, return all the credits (see step above) with the message "Penalty credit returned for Pedagogical Sciences by SOLO for [experiment_id]"

Remove Duplicate Accounts

Sometimes students have multiple accounts (e.g. with different emails). If credits are spread among those against, they need to be merged to a single account first.

  1. First generate a record of duplicate accounts: Tasks > Generate Reports > Duplicate Participants.
  2. Unfortunately no export to CSV is available yet. Instead copy the tabel from the browser to an Excel.
  3. Add filters and:
    • For "Account created", use the "Date Filter" to select the relevant range (e.g. 2019-2021)
    • For "Credit", filter out the "0" credits, then Sort from high to low
  4. For accounts with 16+ credits: check if their user ID is a student ID (e.g. 123456 or s123345), if not, try to find their student number (e.g. in their duplicate account, or email them if required) and change it accordingly (this is important for generating credit lists later). You don't need to do anything further for these accounts. Note: if a user has separate accounts for Pedagogical Sciences course and Psychology course, user their student number with "s" in one account, and without the "s" in the other.
  5. For accounts with <16 credits: Manually add the credits from their invalid account (e.g. the one without student id as user ID and/or without university email), to the correct account. Mention in the comment: "Credits granted from duplicate account by SOLO on [date]". If the invalid account has no active / upcoming timeslots, deactivate it. Note: if a user has separate accounts for Pedagogical Sciences course and Psychology course, don't merge the credits, leave them as is.

Make The Credit Lists

  1. In SONA generate the reports for each relevant course (e.g. Psychology 2019-2021) using Tasks > Generate Reports > Credit Completion. Select "Only Completed Participants" and "CSV export". Save the files to the folder: J:\departments\FSW\FAC\SOLO\Lab-support\004 Fabrikanten\SONA\Docs\Reports\
  2. Request lists from the OSC for both Pedagogical Sciences and Psychology
    • A list of active Propedeuse students
    • A list of students who are already registered as having completed their credit requirement in USIS
  3. [MACRO VERSION] Try this first
    • Open the excel called "SONA_Admin_Macros" in J:\departments\FSW\FAC\SOLO\Lab-support\004 Fabrikanten\SONA\Docs\
    • Use the button "Credit Completion List" and follow the prompted instructions. If you do not have the OSC lists, you can answer "No" on the prompts.
    • Once Macro is finished, save the generated sheet in a new workbook and send it to the relevant contact person (Psychology: Pauline Ruygrok, Pedagogical: )

Yearly Students & Courses

At the start of the semester, new bachelor students of Psychology and of Child & Development studies have to receive accounts on SONA, so that they can get their participation credits as part of the "Tutoraat" courses.

Below the various steps involved are detailed, please note that the procedure / timing is a little bit different for Psychology vs Child & Development.


Bachelor students of Psychology are suggested collect credits already in Semester 1, and do not have to write a report about them.

Make a backup of the data

Use the Tasks > System Management and Data Management > Data Export  functionality to export a copy of all user, credit and course data.

Get the student lists:

The list of students to be added will be sent to or in the first week of September by the OSC or by course coordinator of the "Tutoraat" course.

If the list has not been sent in the first (lecture) week of September, please request the list from OSC or the course coordinator (you can find them on the e-study guide, e.g.: Note: Psychology has both a Dutch and an International Bachelor, therefore you should receive two lists (regular and IBP).

  • Download the list and place them in J:\departments\FSW\FAC\SOLO\Lab-support\004 Fabrikanten\SONA\Docs\Enrollment_lists_PSY
  • Rename them to something sensible, e.g. OSC_2021_Sem1_PSY_DUTCH and OSC_2021_Sem1_PSY_IBP
  • For each list, rearrange and remove the columns such that the end results has only:
    • 1. Student ID (should start with s, e.g. "s12345")
      • Often the student ID field is just called ID, and does not have the "s" in front of the number. See pictures below for an easy fix:
    • 2. Last Name
    • 3. First Name
    • 4. Email Address  (should be of the form
      • Make sure to go through the list to check for anomalies). TIP: use conditional formatting and look for
  • Remove the first row(s) that are empty or containing the column names, so that only the actual data is left.
  • Save the files under a new name, e.g. OSC_2021_S1_PSY_IBP_Upload, Note: make to save the file with the .xlsx format (instead of the older .xlx)!

Make the new course in SONA:

  • As admin, go to Set Up > Course Listings
  • At the bottom of the screen under NEW COURSES add the new course
    • for the name follow the format:
      Psychology 2021-2022 (for credits)
      Of course adjust the years as relevant. Note that the IBP and Dutch students can be enrolled to the same course (so you only create one)
    • Fill in the appropriate number of required credits (at the moment, 16)
    • In the '"Selectable?" column, choose "no"
  • Click on Save Changes at the bottom

Add users to the new course in SONA

  • Go to user management
  • Select "Batch User Import"
  • Select "Participant (Student) Single Course Import" and continue
  • Check if (only) the following are selected:
    • first name
    • last name
    • user id
    • email address
  • Select the relevant course from the drop-down (e.g. "Psychology 2020-2021 (for credits)
  • Make sure the "Definitive List" option is NOT selected, then Continue
  • If needed, adjust the numbers in the fields to reflect in which columns in the excel document the data can be found and Continue
  • Upload the relevant excel document that you created earlier (e.g. OSC_2021_PSY_IBP_Upload.xlsx and Continue
  • You should now see a list with all the potential users, and error information for any problems.
  • If any users are reported with error information (e.g.  "User ID already in use"), copy/paste those (yellow) lines to a new Excel for later follow up and save the file with a name like OSC_2021_PSY_IBP_Upload_Errors. In most browsers there is functionality (or plugins) to do table capture as well.
  • At the bottom, select "Import Good" to import only the good records.
  • Check if the number of imported records (in green) matches the number of records in your original Excel file (minus the error records)
  • Finally select  "Yes" to send everyone their login information
  • Repeat these steps as needed for the various lists (e.g. the Dutch and the IBP students).

For the problematic accounts

Usually the problematic accounts fall into one of two categories:

  • Users already enrolled in another course. These do not need to be transferred to the current course. Instead just note them, and report them as such to the Tutoraat coordinator.
  • Users who have an account already but are not enrolled in another course. For those, check a couple of account to see if anything specific is going on (e.g. when was the account created, last login data, earned credits etc). Sometimes they are properly enrolled to the new course, despite them being 'Marked" by SONA during import. This can happen when the students appears twice in the upload list for example.
    • Then use Tasks > System Maintenance and Data Management > Batch Operations
    • "Move Specified Participants to this course"
    • And for the user list use a list of student ID's.

Child & Development ("Pedagogiek")

Bachelor students of Child & Development are suggested to start collected credits mostly in Semester 2, and have to write a report on them as well.

The list of students to be added will be sent to or around week 3-4 of September by the course coordinator of the "Tutoraat" course.

If the list has not been sent by the end of September, please contact the course coordinator.

Follow the steps detailed for the Psychology student above, but of course:

  • Change the naming of the files accordingly
  • Use course name similar to "Pedagogiek 2021-2022 (voor credits)

Yearly Maintenance

To preserve the integrity and performance of the system, yearly maintenance needs to be performed. This includes

  • Checking system stats
  • Archiving data
  • Removing inactive user accounts
  • Removing old studies
  • Removing old courses

A detailed manual for for yearly maintenance is available here (internal page). Ideally maintenance is done end-of-August. To begin, make copy the Maintenance Report Template then follow the steps specified there.

In case any mistakes are made during maintenance, or performance issues are identified after maintenance, please contact to request a backup restoration. Backups are made once per day.

Incidental Completion List

For course completion lists that are requested incidentally (i.e. not the standard yearly lists) use the R script located under: J:\departments\FSW\FAC\SOLO\Lab-support\004 Fabrikanten\SONA\Docs\Data_Analysis

The R-script can be used in combination with a recent export of: Credit Analysis, Course_enrollment_analysis and users_analysis.

The relevant code can be found under the header "Who Completed Recently?"

Archive Analysis & Questions

If after archival and maintenance certain question arise, see the table below for the right way to answer them. Note that for most questions the easiest way to deal with the Export files is to use the R script located under:

J:\departments\FSW\FAC\SOLO\Lab-support\004 Fabrikanten\SONA\Docs\Data_Analysis

Depending on how old the data is, the right archive folder needs to be selected, make sure to change the folder location in the script to the appropriate folder.


  • How many credits did a user get?
    • Exports > Credit Analysis, sort by user and filter by credit_type: G (= granted)
  • For which studies did the user get the credits / paymetns?
    • use the study ID from the Credit Analysis with the Exports > Studies_Analysis document to find the study details
  • When did the user participate?
    • Use the sign_up id in the Credits_Analysis with the Exports > Signups_Analysis document, to see the information regarding the timeslot date (strangely enough, this cannot easily be combined with the timeslots_analysis document)
  • For which timeslots did the user not show up (i.e. unexcused no-show)
    • Use the Credit_Analysis doc and filter on credit_type: I (unexcused no-show)
  • Which course was a user enrolled in?
    • Use the Exports > Course_enrollment_analysis doc and search on name
  • Did they get the credits for that course?
    • Use the Reports > Course_Completion doc for the relevant course (this only gives the sum credits per participant.
    • To also see which studies were participated in for this course, use the Reports > Credit_history_report for the relevant course instead.


  • Which studies were run by a researcher?
    • Use Exports > Study_researchers_analysis to see all the studies someone was involved with. To Find the study details combine with Exports > Studies_Analysis (search on study name), PI details can also be found there.
  • How many credits were awarded by a researcher, within a certain time period?
    • Use the R script located in Data_Analysis. Change to folder to the relevant Exports folder.
    • The minimum required files are:
      • Exports >  Credit_Analysis
      • Exports > Study_researchers
      • Exports > Studies_analysis
    • Note that multiple researchers can be involved with the same study
  • How many participants were collected by a researcher?
    • Use the same R script as above, do note that the total refers to participations (not unique participants) as each student participates in multiple studies
    • Also note that number of participants includes those who joined for money (and thus received no credits)
    • This number also represent this researchers contribution to the timeslot usage as registered by Qualtrics


  • The same questions as for the researchers, but now on the PI level.


  • What were the settings (and in particular the information) of a study?
    • Can be found in Exports > studies_analysis
  • Which users participated in the study (and when)?
    • Can be found in combination of Exports > Credit_analysis and Exports > Studies_analysis
  • How many credits were awarded by the Study?
    • See above

Mailbox Issues


Both the SONA mail server and the FSW / Leiden University mailserver, often send status updates to the mailbox when a mail from SONA cannot be delivered (i.e. because the intended recipient no longer has a functional university account). Currently, there are inbox rules to forward these directly to the folder "Undeliverables" in the Inbox. It is worth checking this folder every now and then. Furthemore, if you notice these types of status emails flooding the Inbox a new rule might need to be made (i.e. because the mailservers has changed names).

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