In this post, we’ll be taking a brief but thorough look at the Grantor field. This field is a newer component of the Participant List that can be accessed for any study on your Sona site (just select “Download Participant List” from the Study Menu dropdown options). The “newer” part of the previous description is the reason for the post.
While the information here will be useful to new and experienced administrators alike (not to mention PIs/researchers using Sona), it may be particularly helpful for those who were quite familiar with study participant lists until they started to see a new “Grantor” column included. And while the documentation covers this feature, it does so in the broader context of the Participant List without giving the Grantor field any special attention. So here’s where we’ll provide a little extra in the form of a more self-contained, but still concise, description of the Grantor field.
Basic Functions: The Grantor field is intended to help you track not only credit granting but credit grantors and the granting process. It is (we hope!) self-explanatory. The “grantor” is the individual (or, in the case of automated credit granting, the process) responsible for the latest action taken for any given participant in a study’s list. So, for example, if a participant is on the list, but no action has been taken (i.e., the participant has neither received credit nor been marked as a no-show), then that participant’s row will have a blank cell where the Grantor field column is on the Participant List. Once credit is granted or the participant is marked as an excused/unexcused no-show, this cell will display the name of the authorized user who granted credit or marked the participant as a no-show.
Additional Properties: There are two important nuances to this field you should be aware of.
First, the Grantor field is intended to help with the overall credit tracking process. It is not intended to reflect the history of changes made to any participant’s credit status. Practically speaking, this means that the field only tells you who made the most recent change to participants’ credit status. Thus, if a participant was originally marked as an unexcused no-show by Dr. John von Neumann No-go, but later changed to excused no-show by Dr. David Nonlocal Bohm, then the field will display “David N. Bohm”.
Second, you may find instances where credit was clearly granted (because you can see the date it was granted, and how many credits were granted, etc.) but no name appears in the Grantor field. This indicates that the credit was granted automatically. For example, if an online, external study is set up to integrate with one of the many online platforms Sona supports, and consists (for example) of an online survey, then participants who complete this survey will automatically be granted credit. In such cases, the Grantor field will remain blank, but you will be able to see that the participant has received credit. Note that, as stated earlier, if an authorized user later changes the credit status of a participant who received credit through automatic credit granting, then the Grantor field will now display that users name.
Just to reinforce all the above in an even more concise way, we’ll wrap up with a list of the key points:
The Grantor field is a part of the Participant List that can be generated for any study in your system via the Download Participant List option.
The name in the Grantor field displays the name of the last user to take action on a participant’s credit status.
If a participant is awaiting action, then the Grantor field will be blank.
If a participant has received credit, but the Grantor field is blank, then the participant was granted credit automatically.
And that’s it! A quick guide to another useful way to organize and optimize the research process with Sona.