Duke Political Science Research Pool Instructions

Certain courses in the Department of Political Science offer extra credit options that may be met by being a participant in research studies being conducted in the department. The following instructions provide more information about how you can volunteer to participate in this research.

Please remember as you read this information, that your participation is strictly voluntary.

Why some courses encourage research participation:

As in all scientific disciplines, educating students about social science includes providing them with opportunities to learn about the research methods used in the field. As a result, several courses in the social sciences encourage students to obtain first-hand experience with the research process, much like other sciences expose students to research procedures through laboratory sections. The goal of these opportunities is to learn about how social science research is designed and conducted, the kinds of questions researchers study, and how the results of studies are used to understand the political and social world. Many of the studies conducted using PSRP will be experiments similar to those conducted in psychology. Others will include survey questions being prepared for inclusion in national studies or personal interviews.

In addition to gaining a more complete understanding and appreciation of social science research, the Political Science Research Pool (PSRP) provides other benefits to you and others. First, you may discover an area of social science that interests you, leading you to explore new classes, or perhaps choose a major. Second, when you act as a participant in a research study, you are helping Duke faculty and students learn more about human behavior and perhaps contributing to the advancement of a scientific field. The PSRP offers a variety of opportunities for you to learn about social science research. More information is provided below about how you can participate.

Some courses also provide an extra-credit PSRP option. This means that you can receive extra-credit added to your course grade for participating in PSRP studies. The extra-credit PSRP option will only be provided in courses in which the professor believes that participation is relevant to the goals of that course and/or your professional development. Your professor will tell you if you may participate in PSRP for extra-credit. Your professor will also tell you how many total hours of participation you can complete for their course, and how much extra credit you will earn if you choose your class’ extra-credit option. If you have any questions about the extra-credit option, please ask your professor or a TA in your class. But keep in mind that this is extra-credit. You are not required to participate.

Typically, classes that offer extra credit will award 1% extra credit for every hour spent participating in PSRP studies over the course of the semester. The maximum amount of extra credit a student can receive is determined by the course's instructor, but is capped at a maximum of 3%. Even if you do not complete the maximum amount of hours allowed in the respective course syllabus, you will receive partial credit for whatever amount of time you spent participating in PSRP studies.

Apart from extra credit, PSRP will record the number of studies you have participated in each semester. This number will be regarded as the number of entries you receive for the lottery drawing for Amazon.com gift cards held at the end of the semester. In each semester, one $50 gift card will be offered by PSRP for every 100 entries. Each of your entries is entered into the drawing for each gift card, so it is possible to win more than once. This means that the expected value of every entry is $.50. It important to emphasize that the lottery drawing is completely separate from extra-credit. You may participate and receive lottery entries whether or not your courses provide the extra-credit PSRP option.

Below are instructions for how to sign up for the PSRP. After you sign up, you will be able to log into our website and choose specific research activities to participate in and you can monitor the number of credit hours you have completed. Each study will have a short description, and for most studies you will be able to see their location and available timeslots. Many studies can be completed online.

The PSRP is administered by Professor Christopher D. Johnston, the Director of the Political Science Research Pool. If you have any questions about the extra-credit option or your status during the semester, submit them via email (along with your name, e-mail address and phone number) to PSRP Coordinator, Ida Hjermitslev at dukepsrp@gmail.com.

Getting Started:

The Political Science Research Pool (PSRP) is run through the following web site: http://duke-psrp.sona-systems.com. All studies are posted on the PSRP web site, and you must sign up for each study before participating in it. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Create an account and get assigned a user-name and password by clicking on:

New Participant?

Request an account here.

  1. Once you have received your login and password, go to the PSRP website at http://duke-psrp.sona-systems.com and log yourself in. If you are unable to login, contact the PSRP Administrative Coordinator, Ida Hjermitslev at dukepsrp@gmail.com.
  2. After the first time you login, you will be asked to read and agree to a short consent form. Your PSRP ID number will appear on this page. Please write down this number in a safe place. You will need to have this number easily available whenever you participate in a study in order to receive credit.
  3. You should change your password during the first time that you log in. To change your password, go to “my profile,” where you will be asked to enter your current password and then your new password. Be sure to click “update” when you are done.
  4. Explore information on your account, and, when you are ready to start earning credits, read the next section.
  5. If you ever forget your password, you can click on:

Lost your password?

Click here to retrieve it!

Note: For security reasons, your session will expire after a period of inactivity. If this happens you can simply log in again. When you are doing using the system, explicitly log out to prevent problems that may arise if someone uses your computer before the session expires. This is especially important if you are using a public computer lab.

Earning Credits and Lottery Tickets:

Once you are logged in to the website, you will be able to see research activities and sign up for time slots that are available to you. Participating is easy, but we have three important pieces of advice for you.

In general, the number of credit-hours you earn in a particular research activity is roughly equal to the amount of time that the activity requires. For example, studies that take approximately 45 minutes are worth .75 credit hours. An activity that takes about two hours is worth 2 credits. Some activities may give you more credits than this, but none should give you less.

Here is how you can sign up:

Canceling Research Activities:

For some studies, researchers may have to plan their schedules in advance to accommodate your timeslot. Many researchers will schedule their day around you. Therefore, if you need to cancel a planned research activity, we ask that you do so as soon as possible.

If you sign up for a research activity through the website, you can cancel it up until 6 hours before the scheduled time. You have two options for canceling:

1) You can cancel by logging into your account, clicking on “my schedule,” and finding the experiment that you wish to cancel. You must click “cancel,” and then you will be taken to another page and asked if you would like to cancel. You have to click “yes, I would like to cancel” before you are cancelled. Also, you must wait to receive a confirmation. If you do not receive a confirmation, you have not been cancelled and you will be penalized.

2) If you have a true emergency and cannot cancel 6 hours in advance, and you can provide documentation for your emergency, then email Ida Hjermitslev within two days after the missed activity to discuss the possibility of removing the penalty.

Keeping Track of Your Progress:

To see a list of your scheduled experiments and activities, to view your earned credits and penalties, or to see your credit total, log into your account and click on “my schedule/credits.”

Satisfying Your Class Target and The End of the Semester:

The credit hour target for your class for earning the extra-credit (the target will vary by class) will be listed on your “my schedule/credits” page. At the end of the semester we will inform your professor of how many credits you have completed. Enforcement of the extra-credit provision in your class is entirely at the discretion of your professor.

NO CREDIT-HOURS WILL BE ALLOCATED AFTER 5 PM ON WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14TH. - This is also the deadline for changing your credit allocation if you are participating in more than one course. Reports generated on December 14th will be final in awarding extra credit for said courses.

All research activities will be cancelled at this time. All researchers will have posted all of your credits to your account by December 16th at 5:00 PM. Instructors will be provided with your credit information no later than December 16th.

Lottery Drawing at the End of the Semester:

On December 16th, PSRP administrator will calculate the number of researches you participated and recorded on the PSRP system. The number will be seen as the number of tickets you have in the lottery drawing. Each ticket will then be assigned a number from 0 to 1 randomly generated by the RAND() function in excel. The entries with the largest numbers will be designated the winners. The exact time of drawing, number of awards, and the version of excel used will also be posted on the PSRP website. The PSRP Administrator will contact the winners through the PSRP system.

Result of the Lottery - Spring 2016 (Update: May 03, 2016)

In Spring 2016, overall 364 tickets are given, so three $50 giftcard and one $32 rewards are prepared. Excel 2013 is used for drawing, and the lottery was drawn at 00:03, May 3, 2016. The three winners for the $50 giftcard are 35542, 36577, and 36571 (PSRP ID), and the $32 giftcard reward winner is 35170. The PSRP Administrator will contact with the winners for details before May 13, 2016.