In-Person Studies


If you have clearly marked your requirements, and students show up who do not fit the requirements, you do not need to award them points.

Students must give consent before starting and can withdraw from a study at any time without penalty.

Student No Shows

Some semesters the no show rate for some studies is painfully high, which is frustrating to researchers, a true waste of their time and resources. Researchers naturally want to punish these slackers somehow, but several years ago, the National IRB ruled that not showing up for a study was equivalent to choosing to withdraw from a study--the research participant's right--so no penalties can be administered.

Two things to do:

Starting in Fall, 2013, when you mark a student as "no, no show" and award him or her a 0, the REP system will send miscreants a polite email noting that he or she missed a study and that while withdrawing from a study is their right, it would be much appreciated if he (or she) would notify researchers ahead of time.

Call or send an email reminder the night before.

At least 24 hours before your study, send a reminder email to your participant to remind them of their appointment. When students sign up, their email addresses become available to you on the REP system.

A model confirmation email will include the following:

  • Time and place of your study
  • Study number and name
  • Researcher name and an emergency phone number

For example, a confirmation email might say, "I am just writing to confirm that you are scheduled to take part in REP study number F13-001, named such and such, on Friday, October 31, in Elliott Hall N120, from 1:30-3:30 PM. You can cancel up to 24 hours before this study by checking your REP projects, and after that time, you can contact the researcher for this project, Scott Hall, at 612-625-1001. Thanks!"

Researcher No Shows

If students show up for a study and the researcher does not, the student should be awarded full points as if he or she had participated. They do NOT need to complete the study at another time. A student can earn double points for your study—once for completing it, once if you or your researcher fails to show up.

In the REP system, if you set the "complete" status to "no, excused" when you award points, the student will be able to sign up again. Students should email the researcher if they showed up for an event and the researcher was a no show so please respond to student emails.

Students should also be given their points if they show up and the equipment doesn't work or some other researcher issue arises. If the error is on the researcher side, the participant who shows up should be awarded points.

Special situations

Some research designs (group work with confederates, for example) are particularly dependent on participants showing up as scheduled. The Dept of Psychology IRB/REP committee will consider requests from researchers with this kind of study to help minimize the irritation and waste of no shows.