The goals of ESSREP are for students to gain exposure to research conducted in the social sciences, enhance understanding of the basic theories and methods guiding research studies, and encourage students to apply the knowledge learned in class to their lives. Towards this aim, students will have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience by participating in social science research in exchange for class credit or extra credit. (Note: if you are under 18 years of age or do not wish to participate in research, please see the Paper Option alternative: https://ess.osu.edu/essrep/paper-option).
Please note that your instructors and TA do not have access to the Sona System, so please direct any and all questions about your account, scheduling, grades, and credit related to ESSREP to the lab manager.
Research Hours and Class Credit:
If ESSREP credit is a requirement of your class or if you would like to earn extra credit, remember that checking SONA frequently and signing up for the necessary number of studies is your own responsibility. You will not be sent reminders or told how much credit you still need to earn. As a result, we suggest you begin enrolling in studies early in the semester to ensure you have ample opportunities to earn your credit and check the Sona System frequently! Records of the studies you have signed up for, have already taken, and the total amount of credit you have earned thus far will all be visible in your Sona account (see “signing up” instructions, below).
Credit will be consistently allocated for participation in research as follows: 0.5 credits for every half-hour of participation in online studies, and 1 credit for every half-hour of participation with in-person studies to compensate you for travel time. Participation credit will also be rounded up to 15-minute increments (for example, you would receive 0.25 credits for completing an online study that takes 7 minutes to complete). Please see your class syllabus for how many credits are required for you to earn full points, or are optional for extra credit.
Credit for taking a study will be allocated to you within 48 hours and should appear in your Sona Systems account. At the end of the semester the lab manager will communicate your total credits earned to your instructor(s), and they will add these points to your final grade. If you do not see your credit appear after 48 hours of taking a study or have any other questions about your credits, please contact the ESS Lab manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do NOT contact your instructors or TAs unless it is regarding your final grade in the class.
Deadlines for Fall 2022 semester:
- September 6th – Studies open; you may begin taking studies for credit
- September 6th - Deadline to enroll in the Paper Option alternative (for those under 18 or don't want to take studies)
- December 2nd - Studies close; no more studies may be taken for credit after this date
- December 7th - Final credit totals will be shared with your instructors (this could vary slightly by class--see Sona for details)
Signing Up For Studies Using Sona Systems
To begin participating in research studies you will first have to get a Sona account. Log on to https://osu-essrep.sona-systems.com and click “BuckID login”. Please log in as usual with your OSU credentials, and enter other required information such as your class. You will then be sent a confirmation email and can create a new password to finish creating your account. (Please first check your junk/spam folder if you don't receive this e-mail.) If you encounter further problems with creating or accessing your account, please contact the ESS Lab manager at email@example.com.
Once you get an account, you will be able to see and sign up for online surveys as well as in-person studies which may take the form of surveys, interviews, or focus groups. Studies will take between 15 minutes and 2 hours and you will be granted corresponding amounts of credit using the system described above. You can decide to take any combination of online or in-person studies to meet your class credit requirement or for the allowable amount of extra credit. Note that you will only be allowed to sign up for each study once and cannot re-take them unless your session was successfully cancelled (see “Cancelling” below).
If at one time no studies are available, don’t worry. The availability of studies is something that the ESSREP team monitors closely and there should be a new study posted soon. However, we suggest that students begin participating in studies early in the semester partially for this reason. Sessions can sometimes fill up quickly as well, so it is in your interest to check the listings frequently. If this is a persistent problem or you have questions about signing up for studies please contact the ESS Lab manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you sign up for a study you will be sent an email confirmation (and a reminder on the day of a session in the case of in-person studies). Online studies can be taken from a compatible mobile device or computer of your choice at any point during the study’s open window.
For in-person studies, please arrive at room 231 Kottman Hall or other designated location (Zoom meeting space) at least 5 minutes before the scheduled start time. We additionally recommend allowing extra time for logging in, traffic, finding the room, etc., as late or non-arrivals will be considered “No-Shows” and will be barred from using the Sona system after 2 instances (see “No-Show” policies below). Once you arrive at the study location you will shortly be called by your name by the researcher you signed up with. If you have been waiting in the correct location and haven’t been called after 10 minutes of your scheduled start time, please check in with the ESS Lab manager, Ellen Eilers, at email@example.com or in-person in room 231, if present. In the rare event that the researcher is over 15 minutes late and did not contact you to cancel the session, the lab manager will ensure that you receive credit for the study.
The studies you can participate in are designed and run primarily by faculty and graduate students within the Environmental and Social Sustainability Lab of SENR. The data collected are used in journal articles, doctoral dissertations, or Masters Theses, but no identifying information about you will ever be used in connection with your personal results. Furthermore, all studies are reviewed and approved by The Ohio State University Institutional Review Board: http://orrp.osu.edu/irb/buck-irb/.
When you begin a study you will also be provided with additional information about the study and your rights as a participant. If at any time during the study session you become uncomfortable with the topic, methods, etc., it is your right to not answer questions or stop participating in the study and still receive full credit. In such instances, we ask that you report your experience to the lab manager.
Cancellation and No-Show policies (for in-person/Zoom studies):
Canceling a Session:
If you need to cancel a session you can do so in Sona systems by clicking on the “Cancel” button on the right hand side of the screen up to 24 hours before the scheduled session. However, please cancel as soon as possible, so the study slot can be available to other students. Within 24 hours of the scheduled time you will be expected to attend the appointment or will be marked as a "no-show" (see below).
If a personal emergency arises and you cannot make one of your appointments within 24 hours of the session please notify the ESS Lab manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. Similar to other class assignments or exams you will be required to submit sufficient documentation about the emergency.
In the rare event that researchers need to cancel a session, they will contact you via e-mail. As a result, please check your e-mail prior to attendance of sessions.
The ESSREP lab has a zero-tolerance policy towards lateness and missing study sessions. It is your responsibility to note the date, time, and location of every in-person session you sign-up for. Similar to other class assignments or exams a lack of a reminder, forgetting about it, traffic, having another class, or having trouble finding the building are all not permissible excuses for missing a research session. Agreeing to participate in a study is an important commitment, as a result please regard your in-person sessions as appointments and avoid conflicts with your other commitments and classes.
If you are marked as a “No-Show” for a given study due to being late or not present you will no longer be able to enroll in that specific study, and 2 instances of No-Shows will result in you being barred from the SONA system. You will then have to complete paper assignments to meet your credit requirements or earn additional extra credit, as applicable.
Again, if a personal emergency arises and you cannot make one of your appointments within 24 hours of the session please notify the ESS Lab manager, Ellen Eilers, at email@example.com. Similar to other class assignments or exams you will be required to submit sufficient documentation about the emergency.
Directions to Kottman Hall
The ESSREP Lab is located in room 231, on the second floor of Kottman Hall.
Kottman Hall is on West campus (circled above) and can be reached by campus and COTA busses stopping at the “Ag. Admin” bus stop. For those walking or biking from central campus, we can also be accessed by crossing the Woody Hayes Drive Bridge, or the pedestrian bridge between the Morrill and Lincoln residential towers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I sign up for studies?
Follow the instructions under “Signing up”, above, to first get a Sona account using your OSU name.#. You will then be able to see and sign up for research studies. Please contact the ESSREP lab manager at firstname.lastname@example.org if have any problems opening or managing your account.
How do I opt-out of the research option? (I.e. I am someone who is under 18 or doesn’t want to participate in research)
If you like, you can email the ESSREP lab manager at email@example.com and let them know you will be doing the paper option for the semester. This must be done by the enrollment date listed on the Paper Option information page https://ess.osu.edu/essrep/paper-option. They will then add you to a list of students who they will be expecting periodic paper submissions from in exchange for ESSREP credit.
I signed up for a study that’s online – what will the process be like?
Log into your Sona account and you will be able to view available studies. If you select an online study you are welcome to click on the link and take the survey anytime that it is open, so long as slots are still available. You will be provided with additional consent information before starting the survey.
Can I take online studies on my phone?
Usually the software used to administer our surveys is mobile-friendly, but they are often easier to view and read on a computer of your choice. Let the lab manager know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you experience any technical problems while taking an online survey.
I signed up for a study that’s in-person – what will the process be like?
Arrive at room 231 Kottman Hall (the ESSREP lab space) or other designated location (Zoom meeting space) 5 minutes before the start time of the session. We suggest leaving extra time as well to allow for logging in, traffic, finding the room etc. Close to when you arrive you will be checked-in by the researcher you signed up with. You will then be provided with additional consent information before starting the study.
[In-person study] I think I’m in the right place but my name hasn’t been called yet – what do I do?
If you have been waiting in the correct location for more than 10 minutes and haven’t been called, and you were not contacted about your session being cancelled, quickly email the ESSREP lab manager at email@example.com to resolve the situation. If the error was on the part of the researcher you will still receive credit for participating. While we will continue to honor this policy, we do ask for your patience as we all adjust to Zoom meetings and the inherent technical challenges that may arise.
I signed up for an in-person study but need to cancel – what do I do?
If it is more than 24 hours before the scheduled start time of the study you will be able to cancel the session on SONA at no penalty to yourself, although you will not receive any credit. Cancellations will not be accepted within 24 hours of a study unless there is a personal emergency: email the ESSREP lab manager at firstname.lastname@example.org in such cases. Like with missing exams or other class assignments, sufficient documentation will have to be provided regarding the emergency.
What will happen if I am a “No-Show” (i.e. signed up for an in-person study but missed the appointment)?
Anyone arriving late to or not arriving at an in-person study session will be considered a “no-show” and you will not receive credit for the study. In addition, students who do not keep their study appointments more than twice will be barred from signing up from further research opportunities. Then will then have to complete paper assignments to meet their class ESSREP credit requirements or earn extra credit, as applicable. Issues such as traffic, long bus waits, other appointments or classes, or getting lost on the way to Kottman Hall are not valid excuses to avoid being marked as a “No-Show”. As a result we strongly encourage students to leave extra time to get to and from Kottman Hall and to select study times that are convenient for them and do not conflict with other appointments or classes. We understand that technical difficulties may arise with the heavy use of Zoom meetings during the semester--please communicate with us (email@example.com) immediately if you are experiencing such difficulties so we can get the issue resolved as soon as possible.
What if I’m taking a study and some of the questions make me feel uncomfortable, or I don’t want to answer them?
It is your right to withdraw from a study or refuse to answer any questions which make you feel uncomfortable or you don’t want to answer for any reason. You will still get credit for participating in the study even if you withdraw partway through or choose to not answer all of the questions. However, we request that you report incidents of withdrawing from a study (i.e. starting but not finishing a study) to the lab manager. These rights will be further explained to you at the beginning of every specific study you take.
I want to sign up for a study but there are none available – what do I do?
Don’t worry, study offerings is something carefully monitored by the ESSREP team and there should be a new study posted soon. However, we suggest that students begin participating in studies early in the semester partially for this reason. Sessions can sometimes fill up quickly as well, so it is in your interest to check the listings frequently. If this is a persistent problem please contact the ESSREP lab manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I see the studies I’ve already signed up for?
You will be able to see past studies, and studies you are signed up for in your Sona systems profile. Additionally, emails will be sent to you when you sign up for a session (and on the day of the session in the case of in-person studies) reminding you of you participation.
How much credit will I get for participating in research?
Credit will be allocated for participation in research on a consistent basis: 0.5 credits for every half-hour of online participation and 1 credit for every half-hour of in-person participation to compensate you for travel time to and from Kottman Hall (or in the case of Zoom interviews, your willingness to make space for the study to take place at a specific time). Credit will be allocated in 15-minute increments, rounded up (for example, you would get .25 credits for participating in a 7-minute online study).
How much credit do I need for my class?
That depends on the class, or if ESSREP is being offered for extra credit only in your course. This information will be provided in your class syllabus. It is your responsibility to know how much credit is required, if any, and earn the appropriate number of credits for your class.
How will I know how many research credits I have so far?
This information will be in your SONA system account and you can use this sum to estimate your own class score based on the information provided in your syllabus. At the end of the semester the lab manager will submit all of these scores to your instructor or TA to be added to your final grade.
I don’t see my participation credits in SONA systems. Where are they?
Researchers should grant you credit for participating in their studies with 48 hours. If you don’t see your credit and it’s been more than 48 hours since you participated, please email the ESSREP lab manager at email@example.com.