College of Science and Health | DePaul University > Academics > Psychology > Research >
Participant & Researcher FAQ
How can I earn extra credit?
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.
I need to complete the prescreening test, but cannot find the link on the website. What should I do?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if the prescreen is not available during the first two weeks of the quarter.
Lab Study Credits:
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.
I completed an online study, but why have I not recieved credit yet?
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
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.
What should I do if I'm not finding enough studies?
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
What happens if I miss a study?
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
What happens if I show for a study and no one is there?
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 email@example.com. 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
I recently participated in a study and I have not received any credt. Why and what should I do?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not receive credit for any particular study by the end of the quarter.
What are the requirements for the paper option?
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
What kind of studies can we use for the alternative paper option?
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
I am completing the paper option and I am not able to find an article from the current calendar year. What can I do?
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 www.lib.depaul.edu. 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
How do I get accounts for my undergraduate researchers?
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.
What are the procedures to make an inactive study active?
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
Can I get more timeslots?
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
and the coordinator will increase the timeslot limit if possible.
Why is my study restricted to certain classes?
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.
What protocol must students follow to cancel participation?
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.
What should I do if I need to cancel one of the sessions for my study?
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.