• General Questions
I am not a UConn Health Center employee; can I use REDCap for my project?
How do I request an account for myself, project staff, student or affiliate?
Please email our REDCap Administrator to request a REDCAP Account Request Form.
What if I forgot my password?
REDCap users are encouraged to set up a password recovery question when they create an account. If you forget your password you can quickly recover it by clicking the “Forgot Your Password” link on the REDCap login screen. If you are still unable to reset your password please email the REDCap administrator and request a password reset.
How much experience with programming, networking and/or database construction is required to use REDCap?
No programming, networking or database experience is needed to use REDCap. Simple design interfaces within REDCap handle all of these details automatically.
It is recommended that once designed, you have a statistician review your project. It is important to consider the planned statistical analysis before collecting any data. A statistician can help assure that you are collecting the appropriate fields, in the appropriate format necessary to perform the needed analysis.
How much training is required to use REDCap?
Can I still maintain a paper trail for my study, even if I use REDCap?
You can use paper forms to collect data first and then enter into REDCap. All REDCap data collection instruments can also be downloaded and printed with data entered as a universal PDF file.
Can I link multiple projects that share common data?
Yes. As long as the projects have common fields such as demographics information to link to.
How do I access the collected data for advanced analysis at various points during the study?
Data from your study can be easily exported into Microsoft Excel and analysis packages such as SPSS, SAS, R, and STATA.
Does REDCap work on mobile devices like tablets and smart phones?
Yes! REDCap is entirely web-based; you can access it from any browser, anywhere on the planet, at any time.
No separate app, download, or software installation is needed. The view will automatically be optimized for whatever device is being used.
REDCap is compatible with (and can be used on) desktop computers, laptops, tablets (including iPads), smart phones (both Android and Apple), and any other device having an internet connection. There are no specific requirements to run REDCap on any of these devices and no known compatibility issues.
On most tablets, the default view is the same as a desktop computer. All features are available.
On most phones, the default view is REDCap Mobile - a view focusing on data entry. Not all features are available in this view. Any time you are on a smart phone, you can switch to desktop view at any time to get the full use of REDCap.
NOTE: We currently do not support REDCap mobile app feature that requires you to download the app from the app store. Only mobile browser based for now.
Do I need IRB approval?
Note: UConn Health cannot make this determination for you. If in doubt, we recommend consulting your IRB. The following information may help you prepare for that conversation.
The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is an independent, academically-‐based committee constituted of medical, scientific, and non-‐scientific members whose responsibility is to ensure the safety, well-‐being, and the protection of the rights of human subjects who take part in research studies. The IRB reviews research in accordance with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.
If your study involves research using human subjects, you likely need IRB approval before you will be able to conduct the study. The federal definitions are as follows:
- Research: a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. Activities which meet this definition constitute research for purposes of this policy, whether or not they are conducted or supported under a program which is considered research for other purposes. For example, some demonstration and service programs may include research activities.
- Human subject: a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains:
- Data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or identifiable private information
A research protocol may qualify for exemption if it meets certain criteria. View the IRB exempt research categories in Federal Register Title 45 § 46.101 for the detailed federal list. All exemption determinations are made by the Research Compliance Office. If you believe that your protocol qualifies for exemption, please contact your institution’s IRB for submission instructions and guidance.
How should I cite REDCap for a publication?
Please note that any publication that results from a project utilizing REDCap should cite the following.
Study data were collected and managed using REDCap electronic data capture tools hosted at [YOUR INSTITUTION].1 REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a secure, web-based application designed to support data capture for research studies, providing: 1) an intuitive interface for validated data entry; 2) audit trails for tracking data manipulation and export procedures; 3) automated export procedures for seamless data downloads to common statistical packages; and 4) procedures for importing data from external sources.
1Paul A. Harris, Robert Taylor, Robert Thielke, Jonathon Payne, Nathaniel Gonzalez, Jose G. Conde, Research electronic data capture (REDCap) - A metadata-driven methodology and workflow process for providing translational research informatics support, J Biomed Inform. 2009 Apr;42(2):377-81.
What Boilerplate or IRB language should I use?
General Boilerplate Language
REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) data collection projects rely on a thorough study-specific data dictionary defined in an iterative self-documenting process by all members of the research. The iterative development and testing process results in a well-planned data collection strategy for individual studies. REDCap also contains a survey tool for building and managing online surveys. The research team can create and design surveys in a web browser and engage potential respondents using a variety of notification methods. Both REDCap and REDCap Survey systems provide secure, web-based applications that are flexible enough to be used for a variety of types of research, provide an intuitive interface for users to enter data and have real time validation rules (with automated data type and range checks) at the time of entry. These systems offer easy data manipulation with audit trails and reporting and an automated export mechanism to common statistical packages (SPSS, SAS, Stata, R/S-Plus).
REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) data collection projects rely on a thorough study-specific data dictionary defined in an iterative self-documenting process by all members of the research team. The iterative development and testing process results in a well-planned data collection strategy for individual studies. REDCap servers are securely housed in an on-site limited access data center managed by the Research IT Department at UConn Health. All web-based information transmission is encrypted. The data is all stored on a private, firewall protected network. All users are given individual user ids and passwords and their access is restricted on a role-specific basis. REDCap was developed specifically around HIPAA-Security guidelines and is implemented and maintained according to UConn Health guidelines. REDCap currently supports over 500+ academic/non-profit consortium partners on six continents and 38,800 research end-users.
• Project Setup / Design
What types of projects can I create?
Multiple. You can create surveys as you would in SurveyMonkey and data forms, e.g. Case Report Forms (CRF); or a combination of both.
There are three project types available in REDCap:
Data collection performed only by study team using Data entry forms
- Data collection performed only by subjects / study participants using Surveys
- Screening phase before enrolling subjects using Survey + Data entry forms
There are two collection formats available for data entry forms:
Classic: one record per patient
Longitudinal: one record per patient per event, with the possibility of defining multiple arms
What are the available field types?
A field is defined by the following attributes: type, label, name, validation, required, identifier, note.
Available field types:
- Text Box: single-line text box (for text and numbers)
- Notes Box: large text box for lots of text
- Calculated Field: perform real-time calculations
- Multiple Choice – Drop-down List: options for single answer
- Multiple Choice – Radio Buttons: options for single answer
- Checkboxes: checkboxes to allow selection of more than one option
- Yes – No: radio buttons with yes and no options; coded as 1, yes | 0, No
- True – False: radio buttons with true and false options; coded as 1, True | 0, false
- Slider/Visual Analog Scale: coded as 0-100
- File Upload: upload a document
- Descriptive Text (with optional image/file attachment): optional formatting feature
- Begin New Section (with optional text): starts new page
What is the difference between a data collection form and a survey?
Data Collection Forms:
- Must be filled out by a user who logs into REDCap.
- Simply add the users to your project and have them click on “Add/Edit Records”
- Users entering data have the ability to see all data they’ve previously entered, edit previous responses, or check for updates.
- Users not only have access to data entry, but all other REDCap features (reports/exports, Training Videos, File Repository, Data Quality checks, etc.).
- Easier to troubleshoot errors because of the log that accompanies data entry.
- All entries are logged with a timestamp. REDCap tracks who entered data, any changes with old and new values, the IP address where it was entered, the date and time, etc. NOTE: This timestamp is not included in reports or exports though.
- User have the ability to give a form a status, marking it as “complete” or “incomplete” depending on what is most useful for workflow.
- Intended to be filled out participants (non-REDCap users)
- No login required.
- Responses are anonymous unless survey invitations are used and combined with a Participant Identifier (different from marking a field as an identifier in the Online Designer).
- Web interface has a sleeker design and can be customized with Logos and instructions.
- Survey responses are anonymous (can also be a disadvantage).
- All completed surveys have a date and timestamp that can be included in reports and exports.
- Easier to enter responses from a smartphone or tablet.
- No need for logging in or adding users.