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Heriot-Watt University - Psychology Facilities

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Student Research Participation (StReP) - Guidance for Researchers

Introduction

If you are a member of staff, 4th year or postgraduate student, you can use the StReP system should you wish to do so. Everyone who wishes to use Strep to recruit participants must contact the Psychology Technician to be given access to Strep as researcher.  For other general enquiries about StReP please contact the Psychology Technician.

Important: only participants who sign up to studies through strep can be given credits. If people participate to studies outwith Strep (e.g. by clicking on a link in a email, or by completing a questionnaire in-class, e.t.c.) they will not be given credits and the researchers must be clear to their participants about that. Anything else will be treated as deception.

1          My Studies

This option takes you to a page where you can view Study Information and Timeslots, contact your participants, or change the information that you display to participants about your study. The "TimeSlots" option under the "View" column allows you to add or delete timeslots for which nobody has signed up. You can also use this page to manually award StReP credit to participants (remember that the system does not automatically grant credits. You have do this manually within 48 hours after participation took place).

However you can also use this option to either penalise participants who did not attend their session, or to ensure that those who did not attend receive no penalty. There are two options available. Look for the timeslot in which the participant failed to attend and click the ‘Modify’button. On the next page look for the section headed ‘Sign-ups’. In the bar beneath this you will see that you can either fill in the button saying ‘No-show penalty assessed’or ‘No show –no penalty’. If you click the former then the participant will be fined the amount of credit that they would have received: for example if your experiment was due to last for one hour (i.e. two credits) then the participant will have two credits added to their StReP requirement. Alternately if you opt for the ‘No-show (no penalty)’option then the participant will not be fined. You must click one of these options or you will not get the opportunity to test another person in the participant’s place. Please be firm but fair in choosing between these two options. For example if the participant has a genuine reason for non-attendance (e.g. illness) then they must not be fined, and err on the side of lenience if in doubt. However if the participant has no good reason for non-attendance then please do apply the fine.

Important: Participants are giving you their time to support and contribute to your research. If appropriate, you must ensure you credit them for their participation. You should receive email reminders for uncredited contributions. Students information asks for one week’s grace to allow you to credit them.

2.         All Studies

This option shows you a list of all the studies; all (active and inactive), active studies (visible to participants) and inactive studies (invisible to participants).

3.         Add New Study

The first time you use the system you will probably select the third option, namely ‘Add new study’. Typically, you will either choose a "Standard Study" (which takes place in one of the psychology labs) or a "Online External Study" such using the Qualtrics online survey tool. In both cases, and most typically, you should choose the "credit" option.

You will then complete a form to add your study to the system. Add in the study name, brief abstract, description of the study, and any eligibility requirements. Note with regard to the latter that if you do not state any eligibility requirements then anybody will be able to sign up for the study. So if you can only test left-handed people, or people aged under 25 then you must say so here. Next state the duration of the experiment. Then enter the number of credits that participants will receive for completion. Note that StReP is given out in 15 minute units (worth 0.5 credits) so if your experiment lasts 30 minutes you should say that it is worth 1 credit. However if your experiment ‘eats into’another 15 minute period then participants should be given 1.5 credits for this. In other words, if your experiment lasts for 40 minutes then you should say it is worth 1.5 credits.

 

Session Diration Number of credits
0 - 15mins 0.5 credit
16mins - 30mins 1 credit
31mins - 45mins 1.5 credits
46mins - 60mins 2 credits

 

Please note also that StReP is a very scarce resource and so DO NOT OVER-COMPENSATE PEOPLE (i.e., by awarding three credits for a 20 minute experiment): each experiment has a limited amount of StReP credit available for it and so if you over-compensate you will not be able to recruit enough participants. In the ‘Preparation’box detail any preparation that participants must make (e.g. do not eat during the three hours prior to the research). Make sure that your name is entered in the ‘Researcher’box. You need to enter the approval code you received from the ethics committee in the box that says ‘Ethics Committee Approval Code’. The study won’t get enabled until this information is entered. Then click the ‘yes’ button next to ‘Visible to participants’and also next to ‘Active study’. At this stage you may be finished and able to click the ‘Add this study’button. 

Once you have clicked the ‘Add this study’button you will be taken to a new page showing a summary of your study: this is what potential participants will see when they look up your study. Make sure that everything is correct. In this page you will also need to click on the "Send Request" button. This will send a request for approval of your study.

Next, click on "Study Menu" and choose "View/Administer timeslots". This will set up testing sessions that participants can sign up for and MUST be done before you can recruit anyone. You may wish to add individual timeslots, but usually you will need to set up several testing sessions. To do this click on ‘Add multiple timeslots’. Enter the number of testing sessions you wish to carry out, the start date, start time (which MUST be in 24 hour clock format), and the amount of free time you would like between timeslots (e.g. to give you time to reset equipment). Make sure that you have checked the ‘Yes’button next to where it says ‘Move timeslots to business hours’. Then enter the number of participants you can test per timeslot. There are three points to note here. First make sure the room that you plan to conduct the testing in can accommodate this many people. Second, you cannot set up possible appointments for more than the total number of participants you hope to recruit. For example if you have enough StReP allocation to test 10 people do not make appointments available for 20 people as 20 people could well sign up! Just select the room from the ‘Location’list, and click ‘Add’. The software will tell you if the room has already been booked for the times you wanted. If not then you can consider the room allocated within StReP, but you still need to ensure the lab is booked using the Book Laboratory Facilities service.

If you are setting up a web-based study, you still need to setup up timeslots (although they won’t be used) to enable the participants to register for your study.

Then as soon as possible return to the StReP software and make sure it says ‘-Select from List-‘in the ‘Location’box and then type in the room location in the box below: please make sure that this is correct since this is where your participants will be told to come. Then click the ‘Add >>’button. This will take you to a new page where you will see the time slots you have created. Look beneath ‘Add this timeslot?’and make sure that the ‘Yes’button is clicked. Then click the ‘Add selected timeslots’button. You will then go to a new page in which you can ‘Modify’time slots.

4.         Prescreen Results

Not an available option.

 5.        My Profile

Use this option to change your password or update your contact details.

Important

You must ensure that, at the very least, your email is available in the study information to enable participants to contact you. If you are a student, you must also include the name of your supervisor and you MUST promptly credit contributions by your fellow students.

Yiannis Argyropoulos

i.argyropoulos@hw.ac.uk

03/10/2016