Guidelines for Online Studies

The BRITE Lab now supports online studies with our subject pool recruited from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Our subject pool management system (SONA) supports a variety of online study platforms. More platforms are likely being added in the future. For a complete list of the supported platforms, please check the SONA help page.

How to run an online study with individual task?
  • Create the study using one of the supported platforms.
  • Create an "online external study" on SONA and fill study information.
  • Check the SONA help page for platform-specific instructions on how to let SONA track participation.
  • Add a single timeslot for the study with your target sample size and a deadline.
  • Send invitation emails to the subject pool.
  • When the study concludes, download the participation list from SONA and pay electronically.

How to run a multi-part online study with individual task?
  • Create the study using one of the supported platforms.
  • Create an "Multi-Part Online External Study" on SONA and fill study information.
  • Check the SONA help page for platform-specific instructions on how to let SONA track participation for each part of the study.
  • Add a single timeslot for each part with your target sample size and a deadline. Specify the between-part length.
  • Send invitation emails to the subject pool.
  • When the study concludes, download the participation list from SONA and pay electronically.

How to run an online study with individual task w/ interaction?
  • Create the study using one of the supported platforms.
  • Create a "standard study" on SONA and fill study information.
  • Check the SONA help page for platform-specific instructions on how to let SONA track participation.
  • Add timeslots for the study the same way as if you were running an on-site study. There will be an option to add videoconference URL.
  • Send invitation emails to the subject pool.
  • When the study concludes, download the participation list from SONA and pay electronically.

How to run an online study with interactive task?
  • We highly recommend researchers to program the study with oTree.
  • Create a "standard study" on SONA and fill study information.
  • Add timeslots for the study the same way as if you were running an on-site study.
  • Send invitation emails to the subject pool.
  • Mark the participation manually as you would do in the physical lab.
  • When the study concludes, download the participation list from SONA and pay electronically.

Online study payments
  • The minimum payment for an online study is $5 regardless of study length. Studies taking 25 minutes or longer should provide average compensation at the rate of $12/hour. Above the $5 minimum, compensation can vary based on subjects' decisions and random factors. 
  • There is no requirement of show-up fee for online study. Study teams can decide whether to pay participants that do not finish the entire study. However, the study team has to reflect their decision in their IRB protocol.
  • You can send eGift cards to participants. For studies with variable payments, we recommend using Amazon Incentives.
  • If you are unfamiliar with the online payment process or if you want to learn about the administrative details, please contact the lab director Justin Sydnor.