To request a REDCap account, please submit a service request and select “REDCap Database Account.”
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.
- 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.
Tufts CTSI upgraded REDCap to version 9.5.5 in February 2020. Improvements include:
- New feature: Missing Data Codes (i.e., “Data Missingness” functionality)
- REDCap now allows you to designate certain codes to indicate if data is missing, uncertain, or otherwise problematic. These allow you to mark individual fields as having suspect data, and are used in new Data Quality rules and functions.
- New feature: Rich text editor for field labels, headers, and survey invitations
- A Rich Text Editor has been integrated into REDCap to make it easier to format forms, surveys, and emails. You can now also view and modify the HTML of fields, allowing for much more customization.
- New feature: Alerts & Notifications
- REDCap now has an Alerts and Notifications section in the left-hand column, allowing you to send emails to users and participants when certain conditions are met. These allow you to create reminders, notify study staff of issues, and much more.
- Improved Reports
- Reports have been improved to include descriptions and user rights, as well as searchable folders, making it much easier to manage projects with large numbers of reports. There are also new filters and an option to consolidate checkbox options into a single column for cleaner viewing.
- Data Privacy (ie GDPR) Options
- New options allow you to bring your REDCap project into compliance with European Union Data Privacy and Right-to-be-Forgotten guidelines by removing certain data from the auditing log
- These options fundamentally change the nature of the auditing log; make sure to contact email@example.com if you have any questions!
- New Smart Variables and Action Tags
- New Smart Variables let you capture user and project information, such as usernames, instrument names, and the REDCap version/URL (for creating links between or within projects)
- New action tags allow you to hide fields on PDF’s and accurately capture the time a form/survey is filled out by using UTC or server time.
- …And many more!
Tufts CTSI upgraded REDCap to version 8.6.5 in April 2019. Improvements include:
- REDCap Messenger
- REDCap Messenger is a communication platform built directly into REDCap. It allows REDCap users to communicate easily and efficiently with each other in a secure manner. At its core, REDCap Messenger is a chat application that enables REDCap users to send one-on-one direct messages or to organize group conversations with other REDCap users about a given project.
- View detailed information about REDCap Messenger.
- Watch a 10-minute video about REDCap Messenger.
- PDF Download for Survey Respondents
- On an instrument’s survey settings page, a user may enable the option “Allow participants to download a PDF of their responses at end of survey?”. This option will display a button for the survey participant to download a PDF file of their responses for the survey they just completed. Users may also download this same copy of the PDF since it has been added as a new PDF download option at the top of data entry forms.
- New Action Tags
- @CHARLIMIT – Sets the maximum number of characters that can be entered into a Text field or Notes field, and also displays the number of characters remaining.
- @WORDLIMIT – Sets the maximum number of words that can be entered into a Text field or Notes field, and also displays the number of words remaining.
- @RANDOMORDER – Randomizes the order of multiple choice field options as displayed on survey pages and data entry forms, in which their order will be different each time the page is loaded. NOTE: This action tag can only be used for the Checkbox, Radio, Drop-down, Yes-No, and True-False field types.
- @HIDECHOICE – Hides one or more choices of a multiple choice field. This action tag is useful if you wish to retire a particular choice after utilizing it for a while in data collection, thus allowing you to hide the choice from that point after without orphaning any of the choice’s data, which would happen if you simply deleted the choice. NOTE: This action tag can only be used for the Checkbox, Radio, Drop-down, Yes-No, and True-False field types. NOTE: This action tag works only in limited fashion with a matrix of fields, in which it will simply hide the checkbox/radio but still display the column for that choice in the matrix.
- @NONEOFTHEABOVE – Allows for the designation of a checkbox choice to be a ‘none of the above’ option, thus ensuring that no other choices are checked if that one choice is selected. NOTE: This action tag can only be utilized by Checkbox fields.
- @MAXCHOICE – Causes one or more specified choices to be disabled (i.e., displayed but not usable) for a checkbox, radio button, or drop-down field after a specified amount of records have been saved with that choice. For example, @MAXCHOICE(0=50,1=75,2=50) would imply that once 50 records have selected the ‘0’ coded choice, that choice will become disabled for any record viewed afterward that does not have that choice saved, such as when the form/survey is opened for a new record, and thus 75 records for choice ‘1’, 50 for choice ‘2’, etc.
- @MAXCHECKED – Allows a checkbox field to have a maximum number of checkboxes that can be checked. If other checkbox options are clicked after the maximum has been reached, those choices will not be able to be checked. NOTE: This action tag can only be utilized by Checkbox fields, and it does not get enforced during data imports.
- Sponsor Dashboard
- The Sponsor Dashboard can be used by users who have been designated as a sponsor for another REDCap user. In many cases a sponsor is a secondary contact person for the user or someone that helps manage the account. The Sponsor Dashboard allows sponsors to manage their sponsored users by viewing some of their account information and making requests to REDCap administrators to help manage their sponsored users.
- External Modules
- External Modules are individual packages of software that can be downloaded and installed by a REDCap administrator. Modules can extend REDCap’s current functionality, and can also provide customizations and enhancements for REDCap’s existing behavior and appearance at the system level or project level. Modules can utilize REDCap hooks and also can have REDCap plugin pages as part of them. Only administrators may enable modules, either at the system level or project level. Each module has its own set of configuration options, which are all defined by the creator of the module.
- Respondents Can Return to a Survey Response Without Needing a Return Code
- When enabling “Save & Return Later” for a survey on the Survey Settings page, it will still default to requiring a return code in order for a respondent to continue the survey where they left off. But a user may opt to allow respondents to return to and continue their survey with only the survey link (i.e., without needing a return code in addition to the link) to view and modify their previous responses on that survey. NOTE: A warning exists in bold text in the informational popup for this feature that states the following: “If you are collecting identifying information (e.g., PII, PHI), for privacy reasons it is HIGHLY recommended that you leave the option unchecked so as to enforce a return code.”
- Smart Variables
- Smart Variables are dynamic variables that can be used in calculated fields, conditional/branching logic, and piping. Similar to using project variable names inside square brackets – e.g., [heart_rate], Smart Variables are also represented inside brackets – e.g., [user-name], [survey-link], [previous-event-name][weight], or [heart_rate][previous-instance]. Instead of pointing to data fields, Smart Variables are context-aware and thus adapt to the current situation. Some can be used with field variables or other Smart Variables, and some are meant to be used as stand-alone. Refer to the Help and FAQ for more information. Total of 35 Smart Variables are available. They can reference things with regard to users, records, forms, surveys, events/arms, or repeating instances. Documentation and examples for using Smart Variables are included on the Project Setup page, Online Designer, and other places throughout REDCap in a popup and alternatively as a standalone page. NOTE: While Smart Variables can be used for filters in reports and for filters for Custom Record Status Dashboards, they are not yet able to be utilized in Data Quality rule logic.
- Repeating Instances in Piping, Logic, and Calculations: New Syntax for Referencing Fields
- Fields that exist on a repeating instrument or on a repeating event can be referenced using a new syntax (NOTE: repeating events and instruments are used the exact same way). This is done by appending the “repeat instance” number to the field inside square brackets – e.g., [weight], which points to repeating instance #2 for the field “weight.”
- Please note the distinction that unique event names should be *prepended* to variables whereas repeating instance numbers must be *appended* to them. For example, if the field “weight” exists on a form in the event “Visit Data” in a longitudinal project, you might reference instance #2 for that field on that specific event with the following: [visit_data_arm_1][weight].
- Smart Variables can be used in place of the repeating instance number, in which there are 5 instance-related Smart Variables: [previous-instance], [next-instance], [current-instance], [first-instance], and [last-instance]. For example, if you wish to use @DEFAULT action tage to carry over data from the previous instance of a repeating instrument, it might be set up as follows: @DEFAULT=”[weight][previous-instance]”.
- Survey-specific Email Invitation Fields
- New option on the Survey Settings page can be enabled for any given survey, where a user may designate an email field for sending survey invitations for that survey only.
- The email field being utilized for the survey can exist on any instrument in the project, and you may use a different email field on each survey. You may also use the same email field for multiple surveys.
- This feature is similar to the project-level email invitation field except that it is employed only for the survey where it has been enabled. This allows users to have data entry workflows that require multiple surveys where the participant is different for each survey. Using this feature, multiple people can be emailed a survey invitation, after which all the survey data they enter goes into the same record in the project.