REDCap Features

Data Security

REDCap is a secure web-based platform for data collection and management. REDCap data is encrypted in transit and in storage. Access to REDCap is done via SSL transfer to your web browser. Additional security steps ensure that access to the REDCap site is verified and logins are further secured by two factor authentication through your ACE account.

Optimized for Use Across Devices

REDCap is compatible with desktop computers, laptops, tablets (including iPads), smart phones (Android and Apple), and any other device having an internet connection. Since REDCap is entirely web based, you can access it from any browser, anywhere, at any time. No separate app, download, or software installation is needed.

Track Project Status Levels

There are four different status levels (development, production, inactive, archived) that you can use to track progress of your project.

How to Use REDCap

Request Access to REDCap

Using your UNLV email, send a request to redcap.admin@unlv.edu that includes a completed copy of the REDCap Access Request Form and REDCap End User Agreement. Once received, a research administrator will request access on your behalf from the OIT Help Desk and will notify you when your account has been created.

Where to Access the New REDCap AWS Instance

If you have already received access to REDCap via submission of access and end user forms to redcap.admin@unlv.edu, please use the following link to sign into the database.

Add Additional People to Your REDCap Projects

If you would like other persons to work with you on a project, make sure they have independently obtained a REDCap account. If they have not done so, they will not be able to log in.

Once they have created an account, you can give them access by adding them as a user of the project. You can also restrict each user’s access to the project as desired.

Receive IRB Approval (If Needed)

You do not need IRB approval to utilize REDCap. However, if you are conducting research that involves human subjects, you must receive IRB approval before moving your project into production status and start collecting data.

Watch Training Videos

There are several informational videos available to help you get started and gain a better understanding of the REDCap application and its functionality. Note that new versions of REDCap are released frequently, so the videos and other training resources may reflect earlier software versions and thus may look slightly different.

Understand Project Status Levels

Development Status

All projects start at development status, which is where you should build and thoroughly test the project. The project is fully functional, and you can use all of the REDCap facilities to modify and check the project, such as sending out survey invitations and downloading the response data. You should only collect or enter test data while in this status.

While a project is in development status, be sure to test every phase of your project before you move it to the next level (production status) and collect “real” data. After a project is moved to production status, it is more challenging to make changes to the project.

Production Status

After you have created, modified, and thoroughly tested your project, and you are ready to collect or enter “real” data, you should move it to production status. This can be done by selecting the “Move Project to Production” button located on the "Project Setup" tab in REDCap.

Important: When you move the project to production status, you will be given the option of deleting all data that has been collected to that point. This option is provided because you usually would have only been collecting test data in development status. If that is the case, you would typically want to delete all that test data before collecting real data.

Inactive Status

If your project is in production status and you are finished using it, you may shut it down and take it offline by moving it to inactive status. To do so, select the “Move to an Inactive Status” button on the "Other Functionality" tab in REDCap.

Once a project is inactive, no responses can be entered or collected. Anyone trying to take a survey will be informed that the survey is no longer active. An inactive project may be brought back to production status by selecting the “move project to production" button, located on the "Other Functionality" tab.

Archived Projects

If you wish to remove a project from your account, you can archive it. After it is archived, you will no longer have access to the project, including its data. To archive a project, select the “Archive the Project” button located on the "Other Functionality" tab.

Deleted Projects

A project (including all its data) may also be deleted by selecting the "Delete the Project" button, located on the "Other Functionality" tab. Deletion is permanent, and a deleted project cannot be retrieved.

Use Data Entry Forms and Surveys

The primary entity in REDCap is a project, and projects use two types of data collection instruments:

  1. Data Entry Form: This form requires an administrator to enter all the data. To create a data entry form, you must first create a new project by logging in to REDCap and selecting the "New Project" tab.
  2. Survey: Surveys can be accessed by others on web browsers to provide information. To create a survey, you must first create a new project by logging in to REDCap and selecting the "New Project" tab.

Use Public Survey Links and Participant Lists to Aid Anonymous Data Collection

Whether or not REDCap collects any identifying information along with the user’s survey answers depends on how you invite your survey takers. When you click "Manage Survey Participants" in the left-hand panel, the resulting screen has two different tabs:

  1. Public Survey Link Tab: This tab will provide a web link for users to complete a survey. If you provide that link to someone via email, web page, or other means, and the person uses that link to access the survey, then no identifying information will be collected with their survey responses.
  2. Participant List Tab: This tab will create a participant list of email addresses and have REDCap send those individuals invitations to take the survey. In your participant list, if you provide a participant identifier for an address in the list, then that identifier will be collected along with the person’s survey answers, and you could use it to identify their answers. If you provide no identifier, then no identifying information will be collected (assuming that you have not included a survey question that asks for the respondent’s name or other identifying information).

Use REDCap Without Internet Connection

If you don’t have internet access, you cannot use the online version of REDCap. In such a situation, you may download the REDCap Mobile App onto your device. The app has the same primary functionality as the online version of REDCap, just offline. The app can sync (mass import) your offline data back to your online REDCap project when you return to internet connectivity.

Alternate Solutions

  • Store Data in Another Format: Data can be stored in another format and then uploaded into REDCap all at once or incrementally when the internet connection is reliable. Though not ideal, you use another program offline to collect data in areas of low internet coverage. By entering your data into REDCap at a later time, you use REDCap as an electronic record and to prepare the data for analysis.
  • Purchase a Portable Wireless Router: A portable wireless router can act as an internet hotspot to enable you to enter data online in the field. This will allow you full use of the application from any low-coverage area. That way, you can access the online REDCap platform from your device’s browser. By providing your own internet access, the data could be stored securely (and directly in REDCap) from the start and there’s no need to transfer it from hard copies later.

Cite REDCap For Your Publications

When citing REDCap for data collection and management in study manuscripts, we recommend using the following boilerplate language:

Study data were collected and managed using REDCap electronic data capture tools hosted at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. REDCap is a secure, web-based software platform designed to support data capture for research studies, providing:

  1. An intuitive interface for validated data capture;
  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 data integration and interoperability with external sources.

Transfer Your REDCap Project

Transferring Existing Projects
  1. From “My Projects,” select “Existing Project”
  2. Export the data dictionary
    1. From “Project Home and Design,” select “Dictionary,” which will redirect you to the Data Dictionary tab
    2. Select “Download the Current Data Dictionary”
  3. Export the data
    1. From “Applications,” select “Data Exports, Reports, and Stats.” This will redirect you to the “My Reports & Exports” tab
    2. Select the blue “Export Data” button (CSV raw data)
Transferring In The New REDCap
  1. Create a new project
    1. Select the “Empty Project (Blank Slate)” project creation option
      1. You might be able to upload an XML file (same export procedure as the CSV); however, if you get error messages, use the CSV method
    2. Note that REDCap advises the project be moved into production status before importing real data
  2. Import Data Dictionary
    1. From “Project Home and Design,” select “Project Set-Up”
    2. Select “Design your data collection instruments,” and then choose “Data Dictionary”
    3. Select “Choose File” and upload your CSV
  3. Import Data
    1. From “Applications,” select “Data Import Tool”
    2. If any issues are detected, correct them in the CSV and retry (see “Fix Project Transferring Errors” below)

Fix Project Transferring Errors

Finding the Accepted Value for Editing Errors in the CSV
  1. Note which values need to be adjusted
  2. From “Project Home and Design,” select “Designer” in the Online Designer tab
  3. Select the instrument
  4. Scroll to the item and select “Edit” to view the accepted data values
  5. Edit the CSV to correct unaccepted values

Contact

Email redcap.admin@unlv.edu if you have any questions about REDCap.