Research Requirement FAQs

Questions about SONA and completing studies:

Q.How do I sign up for a SONA account?

A. Follow the steps below:

  • STEP 1: Go to SONA
  • STEP 2: In the upper right corner, click on “Request Account”.
  • STEP 3: Enter your…
    1. Name
    2. User ID (your User ID is whatever comes before the "” in your CSUSB email address). Do not enter your Coyote ID number. The address exists because students log in with the same information they use to sign in to MyCoyote and this information should NOT be shared. To find the correct email address to use when setting up your SONA Participant account, go to On the top of the page, there’s a menu item called quick links. Mouseover the menu and select my coyote. Log into your my coyote account. On the left hand menu, select “Student Center.” Scroll down to the bottom on the page, and look under the heading “Personal Information.” There should be a heading for campus email. Underneath that heading, you will find your campus email in a form other than your coyote ID.
    3. Select your course(s) from the list (i.e., the course in which you would like to have your participation credits applied). For PSYC 100, this will be listed as “PSYC 100R” The instructor WILL NOT match the name of your PSYC 100 instructor. That does not matter. There is only one PSYC 100R listed in SONA, that is where you will apply your participation credits. You may be enrolled in other course that allow you to complete SONA units for extra credit. To select more than one course, hold down the “Ctrl” or Apple key and use the mouse to select your courses. Only the units that you apply toward PSYC 100R will contribute to you completing the research requirement for this class. If you apply them to another class for extra credit, they WILL NOT count toward your research requirement.
  • STEP 4: Look for an email reply from SONA that contains your temporary password. This will be sent to your campus email account (“”).
  • STEP 5: After logging in to SONA for the first time, go to “My Profile” and change your password to one that is easy to remember and confirm that your information is correct.
  • STEP 6: Also in the “My Profile” section, you may designate an alternative email address if you want all correspondence from SONA to be sent to a non-CSUSB email address.
  • STEP 7: Complete the Prescreen Survey.

Q. Can I do one study worth 14 units to complete the research requirement?

A. Yes. You may do any combination of studies to complete the research requirement. The only restriction is that only 6 units may come from online studies. For example, you could do a combination of online or in-person studies, only in-person studies, many in-person and online studies worth 1-3 units each, or only a few studies worth larger amounts of units to get to a total of 14 units.

Q. What is the “Mass Testing” survey? If I enrolled in the class after the first week how can I take it? If I don’t take it can I still participate in research?

A. The Mass Testing is an online survey available only during the first week of class that earns you 2 units. Completing it may qualify you to participate in certain studies later in the quarter. If you were not enrolled in PSYC 100 during the first week, or did not take the Mass Testing the first week, you cannot take it later. If you don’t take it you will still be eligible to participate it research studies available through SONA.

Q. I don’t see enough studies for me to complete the requirement in SONA right now. What do I do?

A. Keep checking back- new studies are posted to SONA all the time. There are more than enough studies posted throughout the quarter so every student can complete the research units if they want to. You are strongly encouraged to sign up for studies early in the quarter to get the requirement completed. If you wait until the end of the quarter you may not find enough studies and you will have to complete the alternative assignment.

Q. How can I make an appointment to come for an in-person study?

A. You will sign up for in-person studies through SONA and schedule your lab time that way. For some studies you will sign up for a specific timeslot in SONA listing a time and place. For other studies you may communicate with a researcher via email or phone to schedule your time, however, you will initially find out about the study through SONA.

Questions about Incompletes:

Q. What happens if I don’t complete the research units or the alternative assignment?

A. You will receive an Incomplete in the class. We will save any research units you have completed and apply it toward your total. You will have 1 year from when the Incomplete was assigned to complete the rest of your units, or complete the alternative assignment. If you do not complete the research requirement after 1 year, your grade in PSYC 100 will change from an Incomplete to an F.

Q. How do I know if I am getting an Incomplete?

A. At the end of the quarter, after SONA is closed and after the alternative assignment is due, we will update the Gradebook on the PSYC 100R Blackboard page. If you received credit (either through completing research units or the alternative assignment), it will just show that you earned credit. If you are receiving an Incomplete, it will show in the Gradebook with feedback to you explaining why. The feedback will tell you if you didn’t complete enough units (e.g. “Only completed 8 units” or “Did not complete any units.”) or it will tell you why you didn’t receive credit for an alternative assignment if you submitted one (e.g., “Articles were not from the approved journals” or “paragraph and line citations not provided” or “articles more than 6 months old.”). Do not contact the TA about this until the Gradebook is updated. You will receive no response.

Q. I took PSYC 100 in a previous quarter and got an Incomplete. What do I do?

A. You have 1 year to clear the Incomplete. We have the grade you earned in PSYC 100 on file and will clear your Incomplete at the end of the quarter that you complete the requirement. Each quarter that you have the Incomplete grade on file, you will be added to the PSYC 100R Blackboard page after the census date for the quarter. There you can 1) see how many SONA units you may have already earned from previous quarters where you assigned units to PSYC 100 and 2) submit the alternative assignment if you are choosing that option instead. Do not attempt to contact the TA or your Instructor about this prior to the census date. You will receive no response.

Q. I finished my research hours. Why do I still have an Incomplete?

A. We clear Incompletes at the end of the quarter where you completed the hours. If you still have an Incomplete two weeks after the end of that quarter, submit a question through the submission box. We will not clear individual Incompleted throughout the quarter.