Last modified by Kerwin Olfers on 2021/12/02 12:42

Below are the FAQ that are also available on the SONA FAQ page.

For users: you can type in the filter fields above the columns to find specific topics

For admins: Please note, the texts here need to be converted to HTML before posting on SONA (e.g. )



Can I have a shared account for a project?Generally this is not needed, as multiple researchers can added to any study. In rare cases, we make can make accounts linked to functional university email accounts (instead of personal accounts). However, one PI (senior academic staff member) always needs to be responsible for this account and his / her information should be used in the account, and their own university email should be included in the comments field. Please contact for such requests.researcher 
[CEP]Can I extend my expiration date if I run into delays?Yes it is possible to have the expiration date extended by us (send us a mail or use the study approval request from SONA). Note the following: - The expiration date in SONA should always be the expected end date as mentioned in the ethics approval. - For delays <6 months you can just ask us and will extend the expiration. This should be the new expected end date. - For delays >6 months but within the 5 years from the original ethics approval, we can extend it for you but you need to inform the ethics committee as well. - For delays extending past the 5 year period you will need to ask for approval again from the ethics committee before we can extend the study.researcher 
[CEP]Do I need a CEP code if I have METC approval?No, only one is needed. The researcher can use the METC approval / registration code instead of a CEP code.

Visible to: Researchers, Principal Investigators, Instructors

[CEP]Where to find my CEP code or expiration date

The CEP code can be found on the Ethics platform , under MyStudies tab in the "CEP reference number" field related to your study.

The expected end-date should have been specified in the original CEP submission, and can the CEP submission the researchers should have specified an expected end-date, and can be found by opening the submission and scrolling down to the "End" field.



I have not received my credits, even though I participated?

For lab-based studies, the researchers need to manually award you the credits. This can usually take a couple of days up to a week. For online studies, credits are either automatically awarded or manually awarded.

In either case, if you have not received your credits more than a week after participating, please contact the researchers. You will find their email addresses on the information page of the study on SONA. It is always best to email all the mentioned researchers.

If you have not heard back from the researchers after a week or longer, please contact Mention at least you name, the title of the study and if possible when you participated (i.e. which timeslot).



I have received a credit penalty, why?

For Psychology students:

If you enroll for a study timeslot, but do not show up, or show up too late, for participation (or in the case of online studies, do not participate online before the deadline) you can receive a penalty. This can be the same number of negative credits as would have been earned for participation, with a maximum of three negative credits per enrolled study. This means that you will have to acquire those credits on top of the 16 regular credits to meet the requirements of the Academic Skill Tutorial (Tutoraat) course.

For Educational and Child Studies (Pedagogiek):

Penalties do not apply, and will be removed at the end of the year.



How can I automatically award credits after online studies?

SONA allows integration with various online platforms so that credits can be automatically awarded after succesful participation.

Detailed instructions on how to do this are available here:

If you have any questions after reading the instructions, please contact SOLO at

[Payment]How do I pay participants?Payment needs to be done via the FSSC, see here for more information.researcher 


I have not received my payment, even though I have participated?Payment needs to go through both the researchers and the University financial services. That is why it can take up to three weeks to receive the payment on your account. If you have not received payment after this time, please contact the researchers. You will find their email addresses on the information page of the study on SONA. It is always best to email all the mentioned researchers. If you have not heard back from the researchers after a week or longer, please contact Mention at least you name, the title of the study and if possible when you participated (i.e. which timeslot).participant 
[Manual]Is there a manual for researchers?

Yes there is, the researcher manual can be found here.

Additionally, please carefully read the SONA Rules before you start using SONA.

[No-Show]What happens if I am registered as excused or unexcused no-show?

Unexcused No-Show:

You will be registered as an unexcused no-show: if you fail to show for a study/timeslot you signed up for, or did not do the online study before the deadline expired, and you have not notified the researcher beforehand.

Not showing up when expected is a major inconvenience for researchers, that can cost them time and money. As such, you may receive a penalty in the form of credit deduction (see the FAQ items about credit penalties). Additionally, if you fail to show up 15 or more times, your account may be deactivated completely, prohibiting you from participating in any more research. Re-activating your account will require explicit permission from SONA administrators and (if relevant) course coordinators.

Excused No-Show:

An excused no-show can occur for multiple reasons:

- You had a legitimate reason to not come to the study / finish the online study, and notified the researchers on time.
- The researchers had to cancel your appointment for various reasons, and have notified you on time (e.g. sickness, fire-drills, equipment issues).

Unlike the unexcused no-shows, there are no negative consequences associated with excused no-shows. In some cases, you may be able to sign up for the study again.

What are the rules for using SONA?The rules for using SONA can be found on the SOLO Wiki.all 
[Study Settings]How to create a new study?

When creating a study for the first time, please make sure to first check the SONA Rules.

For information on creating a study see the Researcher Manual

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.
[Study Settings]How to disable or de-activate a study after completion?

If your project is done and you wish to disable / de-activate your study, to prevent accidental sign-ups. Please do the following:

  1. Ensure that all you timeslots are closed and any remaining enrolled participants are processed. Go to My Studies -> Timeslots
    • Go to the All Timeslots tab, and check for participants with pending status (e.g. "Awaiting Action", you can use ctr + f).
    • Go to Recent Timeslots / Upcoming Timeslots tabs. If there are any timeslots still open, go to -> Modify. For timeslots that are empty, you can simply delete them. For timeslots that are partially filled, you can adjust the maximum open slots to the currently filled positions.
  2. Set the Study to inactive. Go to My Studies -> Study Info -> Change Study Information. Scroll down to "Active Study?" and select "No", then save the changes
[Study Settings]Is prescreening possible in SONA?No this is disabled for GDPR reasons. Prescreening requirements can be mentioned in the experiment text, in the eligibility information OR implemented in a linked Qualtrics survey.researcher 
[Timeslots]Why is my Timeslot not visible?

I have an open timeslot, but participants cannot see it or sign up for it. What is going on?

  • Make sure that your study is activated and approved
  • Please check that de “Participation sign-up Deadline” is not set too high. E.g. if it is set to 24, then participants can only sign up if the timeslot is more than 24 hours in the future.
  • Please check if you have any Pre-Requisites (i.e. other experiments that the participant must have done), Disqualifiers (i.e. other experiments that the participant must not have done) or Course Restrictions (e.g. if you only want Psychology but not Pedagogical Science students).
[Timeslots]Why do I need Timeslots for Online studies?For online studies, timeslots are still required. They function as deadlines for participation (so use the last date/time that you want participants to be able to still do your experiment). They also ensure that you can track who enrolled for your experiment and reward them with credits after successful participation. Please note that even with timeslots, you still need to ensure that a SONA ID is linked to the external online task / survey (see the demo video for more information on this).researcher 
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