Undergraduate Students

Frequently Asked Questions


Q:   How do I create a MEL account?

An account was created for you at the beginning of the semester. You don’t have to do anything to create one. If you can’t remember your account information, go to the main MEL Research Participation System website and request your password by clicking on the “Forgot Password?” link. Your user id for MEL is the same as your mylsu id.


Q:    How can I change my password or contact information?

You can change either of these pieces of information in the “My Profile” section of your MEL page.


Q:    The study I’m scheduled to participate in takes place in the Media Effects Lab. Where is it?

The Media Effects Lab is located in 110 Manship Research Facility. For directions, please access the MEL map for directions.


Q:    I want to participate in a particular study, but I don’t see the study listed anymore. What does this mean?

This means that either the study has ended or the study cannot accommodate anymore participants. If the deadline date has not passed, you can check back from time to time to see if a participant cancelled their participation. If this is the case, the study will reappear in the list of active studies and you should be able to sign up at that time.


Q:   I participated in a study and my point is not showing. What should I do?

If you’re not seeing a point and you have completed participated in the study, it could be that the researcher in charge of the study has not entered the participation points yet.  Contact the researcher in charge of the study in question to inquire about the point. If the study you’re curious about was an online survey,  it may still take some time for the point to appear. The online survey system is not the same as MEL sign-up system, so the researcher has to manually enter the participation point. If the point has not appeared a few days after the participation deadline, contact the researcher in charge of that study.


Q:   Why are some studies worth more points than others?

In order to provide equity in regard to time and effort, studies that are estimated to take longer and/or require more effort (e.e. multiple lab session, online and lab component, etc.) are worth more points than sessions that require less time (i.e. 15 minutes) to complete.


Q:  What if I forget what study I signed up for?

If you forget, log in to the  MELResearch Participation System. The landing page should list your upcoming studies. You will also receive email reminders from the system, 24 hours before a scheduled lab study and 24 hours before an online study ends.


Q. I’m not 18 years old, yet. And, all of the studies require me to be 18. Can I still earn points for my classes?

Yes. In order to participate in research studies at LSU students must be at least 18 years old (of legal age to provide consent for participation). If you’re not yet 18, you’ll sign up for an “Alternate Assignment” through the system. Be sure to sign up for the alternate assignment that matches a study you were interested in participating in. Follow the instructions and complete the assignment by the listed deadline. You’ll earn the same amount of credit as a classmate who participated in the research study.


Q. Can I participate in a study and its listed alternate assignment for double the points?

No. The alternate assignment is designed for those students who either are not yet 18 years old, are unable to participate in research for various reasons, or have reached the study no-show limit within the MEL system. Participating in both a study and its alternate assignment will yield points in only one of the activities.


Q:   How will my professor know that I participated in a study or earned points?

Each professor has an account that allows them to see only the amount of points you have accumulated in a semester. The professor cannot see which studies you participated in or any other information regarding your MEL account.


Q:   Where can I find my five-digit MEL number?

Each person has a unique five-digit MEL number that must be provided at some point during every study in order for you to receive your participation points. To find this information, go to the MELResearch Participation System, log in, and click on “My Profile.” Your five-digit MEL number can be found in your Profile.


Q:   I’m enrolled in multiple Manship courses. Can I participate in one study and use the point for all of the courses?

No. You can only use each participation credit for one course. If you are enrolled in multiple courses, you can select which course you would like to apply the credit to.


Q:  Can I move points from one course to another?

Yes. Students will have until the final day of final exams (or a date designated by their professor) to reassign any earned points to different courses. After this time period, this feature will be turned off in the system. This policy is to prevent students from assigning the same earned point to two different courses (i.e. double-dipping).


Q:   I can also participate in research for course credit for other courses in Psychology, Communication Studies and Marketing. But, I don’t see those courses when I log in. Why not?

The MEL Research Participation system is only for Manship courses. Other departments may use a similar system, but you would need to contact the professor for that course for the information regarding their online system.


Q:  How can I check my progress for the semester?

When you log in to the system, you should see a tracker on the main page.  You can also view your study activity on your Profile page.


Q:   Can I use points from previous semesters for courses I am enrolled in this semester?

No. The points you earned from a previous semester do not transfer to the current semester.


Q:   How do I cancel my participation in a study?

You can cancel your participation in most studies via the MEL Research Participation website, if you do so 12-24 hours in advance (the timeframe depends on the study). If this timeframe has elapsed and you need to cancel your participation, contact the researcher in charge of the study. They may be willing to manually cancel your participation and allow you to sign up for another study session. However, keep in mind that the researcher is under no obligation to allow you to cancel your participation without adequate notice.  This is up to their discretion.


Q:   I received an email from MEL Research Participation System saying that I received a “no-show (unexcused)” for a study. What does this mean?

If you received such an email, it means that you did not receive participation credit for the study referred to in the email. This result could be for a number of reasons. It could be that you did not show up for your scheduled study session or complete an online study by the designated deadline. In this case, you will have to participate in another study to earn your course points. The no-show designation could also be a result of providing the incorrect MEL identification number. If this is the case, contact the researcher in charge of the study.  They may be willing to rectify the error. Students are allowed up to 5 no-shows per semester. Once you’ve reached this limit you can only earn credit by completing Alternate Assignments.


Q:   How can I receive updates on current or new studies?

We try to minimize the number of emails we send (we try to maintain a once a week schedule), so you won’t receive an email every time a new study is added. New studies will be identified in the weekly email messages. You can also receive regular updates by following the Media Effects Lab on Twitter: @LSUMediaMEL


Q:   Is there a mobile app I can use?

Yes. You can download the Sona Mobile app from your app store. Upon first launch, type in the Manship Research Participation System url (https://lsu-manship.sona-systems.com ), then log in to your account. While the app looks different from the website, all of the features are the same.


Q:  What happens to the information I provide through my study participation?

Throughout a study, your identity remains anonymous. At the study’s completion, the researcher(s) combine the responses from all participants for analysis. The results may be shared through a class or conference presentation, blog post, white paper or journal publication.