Sona Systems is an online system that Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences (MICCN) uses to manage and schedule research projects within the Monash community. This system enables researchers, including student researchers, to enter their study and solicit participants from the growing research participant pool. Anyone who is enrolled as a participant in the participant pool is able to view and participate in current research projects.
How to request an account for Sona Systems
You can easily obtain a Sona Systems username and password by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and briefly outlining your request to use Sona Systems. You will then be provided with a unique username and password to login to the site as a researcher.
Note: When you access the front page of Sona Systems (i.e. the login page), you may see a link to "request an account." This form is only for participants. Do not use this form to request an account, as participant accounts have an entirely different set of privileges, and the privileges are not appropriate for a researcher.
How to post your study on Sona Systems
Posting your study on Sona is easy! For step-by-step guides you can
A. View the Sona Systems tutorial video (28:23")
Note: you can skip the first 4' that discuss how to log on.
B. Follow the steps outlined below
- Login to Sona Systems at https://monash-psychresearchpool.sona-systems.com using your student researcher user account details.
- Select the "Add New Study" option from the top toolbar.
- Enter the relevant information in each of the fields (see the "Study details" information below). Also be sure to review the "Advanced Settings" at the bottom of the page to ensure all relevant information is included.
- Click "Add This Study."
Study details required for posting on Sona Systems
Study Type - This is the category of study that you are going to administer.
- standard (in person - not online, one session).
- two-part standard (in person - not online, two sessions).
- online – an online study done completely within Sona (not Qualtrics, Survey Monkey, etc.).
- online external – an online study not conducted in Sona, but with some other provider (e.g. Qualtrics, Inquisit).
Study name - This is the title of the study.
- Enter a short name for your project. This is how the study will be identified by participants throughout Sona.
Brief abstract (optional) - This is a short description of the study (one or two lines maximum).
- Enter a brief description outlining the study. This will be displayed to participants when they view the entire list of studies, so you may want to list the most pertinent details here.
Detailed description of study - This is a lengthier description of the project.
- Enter a thorough outline of the study so prospective participants can access this information before they sign up.
Eligibility requirements - This is an outine of who will be eligible for participation in your study.
- If there are any restrictions on who may participate or specific criteria you are looking for (e.g. only females, aged 20 - 50), you can list them there. If any restrictions are listed, these will be displayed when participants view a list of all available studies.
Duration - This is the amount of time your research project will take.
- Enter the maximum amount of time (in minutes) that each study session will take. For online studies, this should be an estimate of how long participants can expect the study to take. It is always best to overestimate here to ensure prospective participants can allow for enough time to complete all aspects of the study.
Payment (applies to paid studies only) - This is the amount of money/reimbursement that participants will receive in exhange for their participation in the study.
- Enter the compensation for the study. Note that this is a text field, so you can enter full string text (e.g. Coles & Myer $20 Gift Card).
Preparation - This is the preparation that a prospective participant would need to do prior to participating.
- Enter any advanced preparation a participant must do (e.g. “do not eat 2 hours before session”).
Researcher - This is the name of the researcher.
- Select the researcher for this study. Most likely, this is you, and your name will automatically be selected. You can also add any additional researchers here.
MUHREC Approval Code - This is the MUHREC approval code.
- Enter the approval code provided by MUHREC after ethical approval is granted. Note: Your study needs to have ethics approval from the MUHREC prior to being made “active” in Sona Systems so that potential participants can view it.
MUHREC Approval Expiration - This is the MUHREC expiry date.
- The date when MUHREC approval expires, which should be outlined on your approval letter.
Active Study? - This is whether the study is currently available for participants or not.
- Select "Yes" if this study is in progress. You must select "Yes" and the study must be approved for it to be available for participants.
Study URL (Advanced Settings) - This is the link to a web address for online administration of measures.
- Enter the URL (i.e. the web address, usually starting with https://) for your study. This is only required for web-based studies administered outside the system (e.g. Qualtrics and Inquisit studies).
How to set up sessions for your project
- Go to “My Studies” at the top of the page.
- Click on “Timeslots” in the entry for the study you want to add timeslots to.
- To add one timeslot click “Add a Timeslot,” fill in the relevant fields and click “Add This Timeslot.”
- To add multiple timeslots click “Add Multiple Timeslots,” fill in the relevant fields and click “Add.” Confirm your times then click “Add Selected Timeslots.”
Note: For web-based studies (e.g. via Qualtrics and Inquisit), you should setup the study with one timeslot containing the maximum number of participants as well as the last date and time that they can participate.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you are signing up to Sona Systems as a participant, you can set up an account by:
1) Logging onto the Sona website: https://monash-psychresearchpool.sona-systems.com/Default.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f.
2) On the top right click on Request Account.
3) Enter all of the requested information.
4) Click on Request Account.
Research participants are able to create a new user account and sign-up for any active studies.
If you are a researcher and want to add your study, you can easily obtain a Sona Systems username and password by emailing email@example.com and briefly outlining your request to use Sona Systems. You will then be provided with a unique username and password to login to the site as a researcher.
Note: This is different from your participant account. All researchers need a researcher account in order to post and manage their studies on Sona Systems.
Web-based studies are typically set up so there is one timeslot, and that timeslot contains the maximum number of participants that are desired to participate, and the last date and time when they can participate.
Sona Systems is configured so that participants automatically receive an email reminder 24 hrs prior to their scheduled appointment.
Under studies on blue bar on the top you can browse a list of studies. Click on the study title for a description of the study, including how long it takes, where it is, and what is the eligibility criteria. New studies will be added throughout the year, so keep checking back for additional participant opportunities.
Your study needs to be approved by the Sona Admin prior to being made active so that potential participants can view it. Go to the study information page and scroll down until you see the option to send an approval request. Click on Yes and then on Save changes. Your study will be approved within a couple of days or you will be contacted if there are any problems with the study.