REDCap Overview

The Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) application allows users to build and manage online surveys and databases quickly and securely. Since this launch, more than 750 Children’s National and GW personnel have requested REDCap accounts and over 1,200 database projects have been created for research or for operational support, among other purposes. Learn more about REDCap by watching a brief summary video (4 min).

REDCap is a web-based survey and database tool that can be used with Internet Explorer or Firefox. It is the database platform of choice in all CTSA awarded institutions and for other institutions across the globe. There is no charge for current Children’s National and George Washington University (GW) faculty, staff, sponsored students, and sponsored affiliates conducting clinical and translational research. The CTSI-CN has made REDCap available to the Children’s National and GW community. 

Learning REDCap

There are several means by which one may obtain training (see REDCap Independent Tutorial Review and Test and REDCap Hands-On Training below). Training and certification is required in order to obtain a login and password and thus have access to REDCap.

REDCap consists of three types of data collection functionality available in one system:

  1. The survey component is a powerful tool for building and managing online surveys. You can create and design surveys in your web browser and engage potential respondents using a variety of notification methods. Participant responses may be easily exported to Microsoft Excel or to common statistical analysis packages (Excel, Stata, SAS, R, and SPSS). REDCap Survey allows for a variety of question types, such as Text Boxes, Multiple Choice (single and multiple answer), File Uploads, Yes/No, True/False, and Sliders (Rating Scales). There are also advanced question features that may be utilized, such as automatic data validation, branching logic, and stop actions. View the Single Survey Project video for more information.
  2. The database component is a secure, web-based application designed to support data capture. It provides:
    • Intuitive interface for data entry (with data validation);
    • Audit trails for tracking any additions, deletions or changes to the data, export procedures;
    • Automated export procedures for data downloads to Excel, Stata, SAS, R, and SPSS;
    • Procedures for importing data from external sources;
    • Advanced features, such as branching logic and calculated fields. You and your team have complete autonomy of your project regarding initial design and mid-project modifications, user access and permissions, and generation of custom reports.
  3. Single survey and data entry form projects consists of attaching a single survey to cross-sectional or longitudinal data collection form project. You may find this design useful if you must send a survey to assess one’s eligibility for a longitudinal research project. Once the consented participant submits his/her survey, the time-events grid of forms will then be created for the participant, making it effortless to track data that has been collected and visually demonstrates verification has been completed (green dot), needs to be verified (yellow dot) and has not been collected (red dot). The data verification step means that someone has reviewed the accuracy of the data entries against the data source.

You can download and upload a survey’s “data dictionary”. This text file (.csv) is viewable in MS Excel and contains a complete description of the survey questions (i.e., question texts, answer texts, branching logic, etc.). This file can be very handy in certain situations - for example, if you need to create a second block of questions similar to those already in the survey, you can edit this file in Excel and use copy/paste to create the new questions (and modify them as needed), then upload this augmented data dictionary to REDCap to replace the original questions in your survey.

Data Entry Forms: REDCap users who want to collect and record research data and enter them into the data forms themselves may do so by selecting Data Entry Forms. Data entry forms may be “Classic” (cross-sectional) or Longitudinal. Within cross-sectional or longitudinal projects, there may be multiple forms that occur just once (always in the cross-sectional project and in some longitudinal projects) or multiple times (in longitudinal projects only).

REDCap is HIPAA compliant but you are still required to inform the IRB about using REDCap for your project. It is not currently 21 CFR Part 11 compliant.

REDCap Hands-On Training

REDCap Independent Tutorial Review and Test

REDCap Request Account or Login

REDCap Support