College of Science and Health > Academics > Psychology > Research > Participant & Researcher FAQ

Participant & Researcher FAQ


Students can receive extra credit after you complete the required 5 hours per course of research participation, you may do up to two additional hours per course for extra credit. If you complete a total of 6 hours (5 hours for the basic requirement plus one for extra credit), your course grade will be increased by 1/6 letter grade (about 2%). If you complete 7 hours, you will receive 1/3 letter grade extra credit (changing a B+ to an A- for example). The maximum extra credit available for each course is 2 hours (1/3 letter grade). Extra credit can be applied only to a passing grade (D or better); a grade of F is not eligible for extra credit.
The prescreening survey is available on the web during the first two weeks of classes. It should take students one hour or less, and is worth one half-hour to one hour of research participation credit (depending on the length of the survey each quarter). It is very important that students register and complete the prescreening survey during the first two weeks of classes. After that date, the prescreening survey will be unavailable and those students who did not complete the prescreening will miss out on an easy opportunity to complete 1/2 to 1 hour of research participation credit over the web. Students will also miss out on many additional experiments that have prescreening as a prerequisite. If it is past the first two weeks of class and the screening option is no longer available then students will need to participate in additional studies to fullfill the 5 credit requirement. Please contact the psychology experiment system coordinator at if the prescreen is not available during the first two weeks of the quarter.
All studies (both online and lab) will issue participants .5 credits in half hour increments. For example, a half hour study is worth .5 credits, while an hour and a half study is worth 1.5 credits. Since research projects rely heavily on student participation, students participating in lab studies will be offered an extra .5 credits for arriving to studies on time, making a half hour study worth 1 credit, and an hour and a half study worth 2 credits.
When an online study is set up by a researcher, they are required to indicate a date that the study should end (typically the end of the quarter). The system is set up so that no credits are granted to any participants until that end date, when all participants have had a chance to participate. If you have completed an online study, and are concerned that you have not received credits yet, please find the date the study ends, and check your credits again at that time. If there are still outstanding issues, please contact the Participant Pool Coordinators.
If you sign up for a study and do not show (without properly canceling), you will be marked as a "no-show" for that timeslot. Participants who receive two or more "no-shows" will not be allowed to participate in any more studies for the rest of the quarter, and will have to finish their research requirements via the alternative paper option.
If students are not finding enough studies to participate in, it may be a factor of the availability of studies and/or timeslots. Please note that the number of available studies increases around midterms. In addition, the number of timeslots for each study increases as participants complete their hours. It is recommended that you continue to check for additional studies and/or timeslots as the quarter progresses.
Please note that researchers are able to view all studies registered for the quarter and that students are only able to view studies with available timeslots. If there are no studies available this is an indication that all timeslots have been filled. In general, it is recommended that participants continue to check the experiment management system for additional studies and/or timeslots as the quarter progresses. Please contact the psychology experiments coordinator at if this problem persists for more than one week.
If you cannot keep an appointment that you have signed up for, you must cancel at least one hour before the scheduled time, using the same web site where you signed up. Cancellation must be done on the web site where you signed up, not by phone, email, or personal communication! If you "no-show" or are more than 5 minutes late to more than one study, you may not be permitted to participate in any further studies and must use summary papers to complete your credits. If exceptional circumstances prevented you, through no fault of your own, from cancelling, you will need to provide a note from the dean of students' office documenting that you were, due to sudden illness or emergency, unable to use the web site to cancel prior to your experiment. This note must be given to the Coordinator, NOT to the researcher or your instructor. Please be on time to your appointments. You must be on time to be eligible for the 0.5 credit bonus for lab studies. If you are late do not disturb other participants if the researcher has a sign up asking you not to knock or enter after the experiment has started. If you are more than 5 minutes late, you may be counted as a "no-show" and may not be permitted to do the experiment. If you cannot do the experiment because you were late, you will not receive credit for the study.
If you show up on time but the experimenter is not there within 15 minutes, please leave a note for the experimenter and download this form. Fill it out and email it to Turning this slip in to the Research Participant Coordinator will help insure you receive credit for your attendance. If the Coordinator is able to verify your information with the experimenter, you will receive one credit for the experiment. If you missed the experiment because you arrived late or at the wrong location, however, you will not receive credit.
Credits are assigned as the quarter progresses. If you have not received credit is likely that credit is still pending. This can happen for various reasons. For instance, sometimes researchers are not able to assign credit until a later date. Another example is that on-line studies are often programmed to assign credit to participants on the last day of data collection or towards the end of the quarter. Students are instructed to maintain appropriate documentation after participating in any study. Please contact the psychology experiments coordinator at if you do not receive credit for any particular study by the end of the quarter.
If you do not wish to participate in research, or if you are unable to participate in enough experiments, you will have the option of writing short summary papers instead. Each paper is worth one credit hour. You may do any combination of experiments and papers to complete your requirements. To write a summary paper, you will need to find an appropriate article in a scientific journal. You can find psychology journals in the periodical section of the DePaul library. You can also retrieve many journal articles from the library's website.  Detailed instructions for the alternative paper option are posted online here.
The article must be from a scientific journal, such as the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General or Psychological Science (just to mention two - there are many others). It can not be from a newspaper or magazine, such as Psychology Today or Time. Scientific American articles are acceptable, but only if they are about research that is related to psychology. If you have any question about whether a source is a scientific journal, email the Coordinator and verify that your source is acceptable before you write the paper. The article must be about research in or related to psychology. In other words, it must report the results of an empirical study, or summarize the findings from several studies. It must have data. The article must be from a current journal issue. This means that the publication date must be from the current calendar year. If, for example, today's date is January 30, 2006, you must use an article published in 2006. Detailed instructions for the alternative paper option are posted online on the psychology department/research/student instructions.
All articles must be from a current journal issue. This means that the publication date must be from the current calendar year. If, for example, today's date is January 30, 2008, you must use an article published in 2008. If you are having problems locating an article then, please search psychology journals in the periodical section of the DePaul library or on-line at When using PsychInfo it may be helpful to search for articles by year (e.g., 2010). This will return a wide variety of articles. To narrow down the number of articles also search by indicating an area of psychology that is of interest to you. 
For more instructions about the Experiment Management Website, click here.


Undergraduate Researcher accounts must be requested by the Researcher/PI with whom they are working. When Researchers request a personal account they may also include a list of any research assistants, etc. for whom Researcher accounts need to be created. For each undergraduate researcher, list the same four pieces of information required for Research and PI accounts, separated by commas (e.g., userID, last name, first name, email address). If Researchers/PI's already have a personal account then they may send a separate email requesting an account for their undergraduate researchers. Any undergraduates who contact the system directly will be redirected to follow-up with the Researcher/PI with whom they are working.
If your study has already been approved and is currently inactive, simply click on the profile for your study, scroll to the bottom and click on study status (active/inactive study). Check the box to make your study active. If your study needs to be approved and activated then go to the profile page for your study and "send a request." Once a request has been sent please allow 24-48 hours for your study to be approved.
Please note that at the begining of the quarter all timeslots are set to 50.  If researchers need addtional timeslots a request can be made via email and the coordinator will increase the timeslot limit if possible.
Online studies must inidially be made available to only loop and evening sections (classes with section numbers greater than 400). You can request to have this restriction removed later in the quarter.
It is recommended that researchers enter in the latest date that the system will allow. Exempt studies don't expire but the system does not have that as an option and forces all studies to have an expiration date.
Participants must use the experiment signup website to cancel an appointment – they are not expected to contact the researcher directly. If the student does not cancel the appointment at least one hour in advance, or is more than 5 minutes late, this counts as a "no show" and incurs a penalty of one hour of researcher credit. If a student “no shows" to more than one study, they may not permitted to participate in any further studies and will be required to use “alternative credit papers” to complete the rest of their research participation requirements. Experimenters must record “no shows” in the research participation website promptly in order for penalties to be assessed.
Researchers must notify participants by at least 5:00 PM the day prior to the appointment if a study is to be canceled. If it is not possible to notify participants by 5pm, the researcher must either get someone to run the study in their place, or post a sign on the door of the study location telling students it has been canceled and instructing them to go to the Psychology Department main office to fill out a form verifying that they were there on time. The researcher must also email the Research Participation Coordinator about the cancellation. Students who arrive on time for a study and find that it has been canceled or that the researcher is not there must leave a note for the researcher and stop by the main office to fill out a form to verify that they were there at the time of the appointment. Participants will receive full credit for those studies that are canceled the same day or those for which the researcher does not show.
In circumstances in which a study was loaded into the psychology experiment management system and accidently programmed as an online study to be administered by the system instead of an external study, the researcher will need to remove and then re-post the study with the correct parameters. The option to provide the link to the external web address will be provided only if the study is registered as on external study.
For more instructions about the Experiment Management Website please click here.