Overview

Tufts CTSI offers REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) to investigators at Tufts CTSI partner institutions. REDCap is a free, secure, HIPAA-compliant, web-based application used for electronic capture and management of research and clinical study data. REDCap servers are housed in a secure local data center, behind the Tufts Medical Center firewall, and all web-based information is encrypted. The REDCap database is periodically backed up.

Highlights

REDCap is:

  • Secure and web-based: input data or build an online survey from anywhere in the world over a secure web connection with authentication and data logging.
  • Fast and flexible: conception to production-level database or survey in less than one day.
  • Multi-site access: REDCap databases and surveys can be used by researchers from multiple sites and institutions.
  • Autonomous utilization: research groups have complete autonomy to develop data collection forms and add new users.
  • Fully customizable: you are in control of shaping your database or survey.
  • HIPAA compliance: REDCap is fully HIPAA compliant.
  • Audit trail: all changes to data/databases are logged for data audit purposes.
  • Advanced features: mid-study modifications, auto-validation, branching logic, calculated fields, double data entry, and data quality module with issue resolution workflow.
  • Data export mechanism to common statistical packages (SPSS, SAS, Stata, R/S-Plus) and formats (csv, CDISC).

Resources and Services

  • Secure, HIPAA compliant hosting for your project: input data or build an online survey from anywhere in the world over a secure web connection with authentication and data logging.
    Please note: studies that require 21CFR part 11 compliant reporting to the FDA should use an alternative EDC system.
  • REDCap Account: basic account setup and password recovery assistance.
  • Basic database development consultations: we will walk you through database development basics and brainstorm solutions specific to your needs.
  • Advanced features consultations: advanced features include double data entry, data quality and issue resolution workflow, MS SQL dynamic queries, mid-study modifications, auto-validation, branching logic, and calculated fields.
  • Group REDCap workshops: available upon request and reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Who is eligible?

REDCap may be available to all Tufts CTSI partners. Researchers not affiliated with a Tufts CTSI partner and students must work with a Tufts Medical Center investigator in order to be eligible.

For fast and successful service:

  • Please submit a service request.
  • When requesting a REDCap account, please use your institutional email address (not Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, etc.).
  • If you are not the Principle Investigator, please identify the PI you are working with.
  • Let us know whether you/your team needs data entry access only, or will also need the ability to create new projects.

View REDCap helpful tips and tricks here.

Login to REDCap.

Request a REDCap account or other Informatics assistance.

Learn about CLARET (Clinical Academic Research Enterprise Trust).

REDCap Features

2017

Tufts CTSI upgraded REDCap to version 7.3.6 in July 2017. Improvements include:

  • Updated REDCap look and feel
  • Updated Help & FAQ page.
  • New Action tags
  • New API methods
  • Usability and communication improvements
  • Security and bug fixes

New Features

  • Response Limit for surveys: Users may set a response limit for any given survey to prevent respondents from starting the survey once a set number of responses have been collected. NOTE: It can be set so the response count includes completed responses only or partial and completed responses. Users may also set custom text to be displayed to respondents on the survey page when the response limit has been reached.
  • Time Limit for Survey Completion: Users may set the amount of time (in days, hours, and/or minutes) that each respondent has to complete a given survey based upon when they were initially sent the survey invitation. NOTE: This feature excludes public survey links. When enabled, a new column is displayed on the Participant List where it denotes if a participant’s survey link has expired and also displays the expiration time if you hover over the icon. If the icon is clicked, the user can permanently override the link expiration time by setting it further in the future (to give the respondent more time), or to expire the link sooner (or even immediately).
  • Custom Record Status Dashboards: Users can build and save custom versions of the Record Status Dashboard to customize the dashboard to their liking.
    • Custom dashboards have many configuration options. Users can give each dashboard a title and a description/instructions, and can choose the instruments to include or exclude in the dashboard’s display. Similar to building reports in REDCap, Custom Record Status Dashboards allow users to sort the records in the dashboard by another field’s value, and one can set filter logic to filter the records displayed in the dashboard to a specific subset of the total records (e.g., [age] > 30 and [diabetes] = “1”). There are aesthetic controls as well, such as being able to display the dashboard headers vertically, which will transpose them 90 degrees for a more compact display on the page.
    • Only users with Project Setup/Design privileges may create custom dashboards. Once a custom dashboard has been created, it will be viewable and usable by all users in the project. Users may create as many custom dashboards as they like in a project. To create a custom dashboard, navigate to the Record Status Dashboard in a project, and click the blue “Create custom dashboard” button to get started.
  • Text searching and ordering on reports: Users now have a search box displayed at the top of every report where they can type text to search the report, in which it will only show the rows in the currently viewed report that match the search string that is typed. Additionally, any column in a report can have its column header clicked to sort the table according to the values in that column (in ascending or descending order).
  • Repeating Instruments and Events: REDCap can repeat a data collection instrument or an entire event of instruments an unlimited number of times without having to specify the amount needed. This is sometimes called one-to-many data collection, in which a project can have one or more repeating parts. The repeating instruments/events feature can be enabled and set up by clicking the Enable button in the Optional Modules section on the Project Setup page.
    • Enabling Surveys for Repeating Instruments: If you want to allow survey respondents to enter their responses in a repeating fashion in survey mode alone, you must enable an optional setting near the bottom of the Survey Settings page (in the survey termination options section) *after* an instrument has been set as a repeating instrument. So it is one additional step to do after enabling the instrument itself as a repeating instrument. When the repeat survey setting is enabled, it will display a button at the end of the survey so that the respondent can choose to enter another response for the survey, thus essentially allowing them to take the survey multiple times in a row. In this way, they will be able to enter as many responses for that same survey as they need.
    • Reports and Data Exports with Repeating Instruments and Events: If you create a report that contains data from a repeating instrument or repeating event, a field named ‘redcap_repeat_instance’ will be included that represents the instance number, which is an auto-numbered value (starting with ‘1’) that gets incremented each time the instrument/event is repeated. If the report contains data specifically from a repeating instrument (as opposed to a repeating event), then a field named ‘redcap_repeat_instrument’ will additionally be included that represents the instrument name that denotes to which instrument the row of data belongs. These two fields will only be included automatically in the report or data export if data originates from a repeating instrument or event. NOTE: Each repeated instance of an instrument or event will be displayed as a new row in the report or export file.
    • While repeating instruments/events are fully supported when using Double Data Entry with regard to data entry workflow, please see the following Notice for the Data Comparison Tool: “The Data Comparison Tool does not *fully* support the Repeating Instruments and Events feature, which appears to be enabled in this project. Data can be compared (and even merged if using Double Data Entry), but it will only allow comparison and merging of Instance #1 of a repeating instrument or repeating event. Thus all other repeating data will be ignored on this page. Also, all non-repeating data can still be compared and merged.”
  • Field name (variable) auto-suggest when typing branching logic, calculations, or general conditional logic (Survey Queue, Automated Survey Invitation, Data Quality rule, report filter’s advanced logic): While typing logic/calculations into the text box, it will auto-suggest a REDCap variable name from your project that is clickable to inject into the text box. If the project is longitudinal, it will also suggest event names to inject unique event names.
  • Real-time validator for branching logic, calculations, or general conditional logic (Survey Queue, Automated Survey Invitation) that allows you to run your logic/calculation on a specific record in the project, and it returns the result: For example, if typing branching logic in the Add/Edit Branching Logic popup in the Online Designer, you can select a record, and it will tell you if the field will be displayed or hidden for that record based upon the record’s currently saved values. When typing calculations, it will return the actually calculated value of the field for a selected record. This makes it easier to formulate your logic and calculations so that you get them right the first time.
  • Data dictionary snapshot: Users can now click a button on the Online Designer to create a snapshot of their instruments (i.e., CSV data dictionary) that gets stored on the Project Revision History page. A data dictionary snapshot is also created automatically whenever a data dictionary is uploaded on the Data Dictionary Upload page or via the API metadata import.
  • Preview email: When composing survey invitations (e.g., the Participant List, Automated Survey Invitations set up), there is now a Preview option for viewing the fully-rendered HTML preview of the email that is being composed. Additionally, there is an option to for you to send a test email to yourself.
  • Custom Event Labels: Custom Event Labels can now be optionally added for any event in a longitudinal project when adding/editing events on the Define Events page. These custom labels can be used for piping data from a given event into the event’s table header on the Record Home Page (i.e., Event Grid). For example, if each event represents a single visit of a person, then if you are collecting the date in a field called ‘visit_date’ on each event, then you can set the Custom Event Label as ‘[visit_date]’ for all of those visit events. This will provide useful context for each event when viewing all the events of the record. You can also get more advanced with the piping by using multiple fields and even static text. For example, ‘[visit_date], [weight] lbs’.
    • The custom_event_label attribute for events has been added to the Export Events API method
  • Enhanced radio buttons and checkboxes for surveys: A new survey option “enhanced radio buttons and checkboxes” can be found on the Survey Settings page in the Online Designer in which you can enable the feature so that radio buttons and checkboxes are displayed differently on the survey page, in which they appear as large animated buttons that look more modern and stylish than traditional radios and checkboxes. This new feature can be enabled for any given survey in a project where it will transform *all* radios and checkboxes on the survey into the enhanced version. Note: This feature does not work for radios and checkboxes in a matrix.
  • Create custom public survey link: On the “Public Survey Link” page in a project that utilizes surveys, users now have the option to create their own custom public survey link that begins with “http://is.gd” (e.g., http://is.gd/diabeticsurvey), in which the custom URL will simply redirect to the public survey in their project. They may enter a desired URL, and it will check if the URL has already been taken. If not, it will store that custom URL in the project so that it is always able to be obtained on the Public Survey Link page.

New Action Tags

  • @PLACEHOLDER: Is used to specify a short hint that describes the expected value of a Text field or Notes field (e.g., a sample value or a short description of the expected format). The placeholder is displayed inside the field before a value is entered. The format must follow the pattern @PLACEHOLDER=’????’, in which the text to be displayed should be inside single or double quotes. This action tag is compatible with all browsers, including Internet Explorer 8 and 9.
  • @HIDEBUTTON: Hides the ‘Now’ or ‘Today’ button that is typically displayed to the right of date, time, and date/time fields.
  • @INPUTMATRIX: a new custom tag to support displaying a table of input, or data entry, fields. This custom hook utility is designed to allow such a table to be created, using an arbitrary number of rows and columns (as REDCap is not yet “responsive” in its design, consider the width of the browser window when determining the number of columns to display.) NOTE: This hook utility does NOT use the “Matrix of Fields” infrastructure, but rather makes use of an instrument’s “Descriptive Text” field and a custom “Action tag.”

New API Methods

  • “Generate Next Record Name” (content=generateNextRecordName): To be used by projects with record auto-numbering enabled, this method exports the next potential record ID for a project. It generates the next record name by determining the current maximum numerical record ID and then incrementing it by one. NOTE: This method does not create a new record, but determines what the next record name would be. If using Data Access Groups (DAGs) in the project, this method accounts for the special formatting of the record name for users in DAGs (e.g., DAG-ID); in this case, it only assigns the next value for ID for all numbers inside a DAG.
  • “Import Project Information”: Users may now update certain project-level settings via the API, such as the project’s title, if it is longitudinal, if surveys are enabled, etc. The following project attributes can be updated: project_title, project_language, purpose, purpose_other, project_notes, custom_record_label, secondary_unique_field, is_longitudinal, surveys_enabled, scheduling_enabled, record_autonumbering_enabled, randomization_enabled, project_irb_number, project_grant_number, project_pi_firstname, project_pi_lastname, display_today_now_button.
  • “Delete Records”: Users may now delete individual records using the API. One or more records may be deleted using a single API request, in which the record name must be explicitly specified. For longitudinal projects having multiple arms, the optional “arm” parameter may be passed in the request so that the record is only deleted from the specified arm, whereas by default it will delete the record from all arms if the record exists in more than one arm.

View the release notes for previous REDCap upgrades here.