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Data Management and Survey Tool

Using REDCap's stream-lined process for rapidly developing projects, you can create and design databases and surveys using:

  • Online designer and/or
  • Offline method of constructing a "data dictionary" file in Microsoft Excel and uploading it to REDCap

REDCap provides user-friendly web-based case report forms, real-time data entry validation (e.g. for data types and range checks), audit trails, and the ability to set up a calendar to schedule and track critical study events such as blood-draws, participant visits, etc. Also, designated users can assign different levels of access for each member of the research team.

REDCap also provides a powerful tool for creating and managing surveys in your web browser. Collect anonymous responses or track and identify responses from survey participants by:

  • Sending a link to your survey via email
  • Entering data manually
  • Posting a link on your website
  • Or any combination of the above methods

Information on monthly introduction and demonstrations on REDCap

Key Features

Free, web-based, and user-friendly electronic data capture (EDC) tools for research studies
Databases can be quickly developed and customized for studies' needs

Useful for

Collecting and tracking information/data for research studies
Scheduling study events (e.g., patient visits, follow-up surveys)
Conducting surveys

For more information, visit: http://project-redcap.org/

Advantages

Secure and web-based: Input data from anywhere in the world with secure web authentication, data logging, and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption
Fast and flexible: Conception to production-level database in a few hours
Multi-site access: Projects can be accessed by researchers from multiple sites and institutions
Fully customizable: You are in total control of shaping your database or survey
Advanced question features: Auto-validation, branching logic, and stop actions
Mid-study modifications: You may modify the database or survey at any time during the study
Data import functions: Data may be imported from external data sources to begin a study or to provide mid-study data uploads
Data comparison functions: Double and blinded data entry
Export survey results to common data analysis packages: Microsoft Excel, SAS, STATA, R, or SPSS

Save your survey or forms as PDFs: Generate a PDF version for printing in order to collect responses offline

Although REDCap is housed in the College of Education & Human Services at USU, it is available to any USU faculty, staff, and students. Faculty may also request accounts for collaborators outside of USU. Students must identify a faculty mentor through the request form below. Please allow 2-3 business days for your request to be processed.

The Statistical Consulting Studio is available to assist setting up REDCap projects after you have an active account. Please submit a request for consoltation and then schedule an appointment with a consultant to address your individual needs.

Helpful sites

Project REDCap Webpage
Coursera: Data Management Course

Best Practices

Always keep a copy of your Data Dictionary (Downloaded to Excel)
Do not change variable names or values of categorical field types once you begin collecting real data
Group variables together that follow the data entry work flow
Keep forms fairly short to minimize risk of data loss
Use categorical field types (yes/no, multiple choice, etc.) whenever possible
When using text fields, add field validation to minimize data entry errors
Involve a statistician early during the development of the database
Using the multi-page surveys feature will allow the participant to complete the survey in sections with each completed page uploading to REDCap
Enable the Save and Return later feature for large surveys

Data Entry

Group variables together that follow the data entry work flow, and use field types that minimize changing from keyboard to mouse. For example, you can enter a dropdown field option by typing the first character of the label, allowing you to "tab and type" through the data entry fields, while radio buttons require using the mouse to select an option). Keep forms fairly short to minimize risk of data loss (by saving more often when completing a form) and make it easier to identify data entry errors.

Data Analysis

Use categorical response options (yes/no, multiple choice) whenever possible. When using text fields, add field validation (format type, valid range) whenever possible for better data accuracy. Minimize use of "free" text fields because these can be difficult to analyze.

IRB Template

The following may be used in your IRB application if you are planning to use REDCap:

Study data will be collected and managed using REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture). REDCap is a secure web application designed to support data capture for research studies, providing user-friendly web-based case report forms, real-time data entry validation (e.g. for data types and range checks), audit trails and a de-identified data export mechanism to common statistical packages (SPSS, SAS, Stata, R/S-Plus). The system was developed by a multi-institutional consortium initiated at Vanderbilt University. REDCap servers are hosted in the College of Education & Human Services at Utah State University, where data will be stored and processed. REDCap 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. This iterative development and testing process results in a well-planned data collection strategy for individual studies. REDCap is flexible enough to be used for a variety of types of research and provides an intuitive user interface for database design and data entry.

Publications / Proceedings / Presentations:

P.A. Harris, R. Thielke, R. Taylor, J. Payne, N. Gonzalez, J.G. Conde. Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) – A metadata-driven methodology and workflow process for providing translational research informatics support. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 2008

General Citation

You can cite REDCap in your research using the following language:

Study data were collected and managed using REDCap electronic data capture tools hosted at Utah State University.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. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1532046408001226