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REDCap

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Overview

REDCap

  • is a secure, web-based application for building and managing online surveys and research databases with enhanced features to support HIPAA level requirements required by research
  • was created under the NIH Clinical Translational Science Awards at Vanderbilt/Meharry CTSA and continues to be improved by many investigators
  • has >2,600 active institutional consortium partners in 117 countries, > 480,000 projects, >630,000 users internationally
  • is free for Wright State University investigators

Use of the REDCap system is governed by an End User License Agreement between Wright State University and Vanderbilt University. The REDCap agreement stipulates that use of REDCap should be cited in any publications or presentations arising from research projects that make use of the application. See projectredcap.org/resources/citations for suitable boilerplate text.

REDCap was created to support health research. Do not use REDCap for storing official Wright State University business data or ongoing patient care data. REDCap is typically used for chart reviews and prospective clinical research studies but can be used for many other types of projects. REDCap might not be ideal for projects like registries, repositories, or those with an indefinite timeframe.

More information, including up-to-date statistics on the use of REDCap across the Consortium, can be found on the project’s website.

Request Access to REDCap

All users are required to complete REDCap training prior to use. The amount of required training varies by assigned role. These are the minimum recommendations. Please view additional REDCap training as needed for specific roles and projects.

Project Owners and Project Secondary owners must complete REDCap video training, including:

  • Introductory Overviews
  • Basic Features and Functionality
  • Project Types (this takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes)

Project members must complete REDCap video training, including:

  • Introductory Overviews
  • Basic Features and Functionality (this takes about 1 hour)

Once you have completed training, complete the REDCap Account Request Form. This will include completing an attestation form that states your responsibilities, which will need to be scanned and uploaded using the link to the account request.

Initial access is project-based, i.e., you must have a project to get access the first time, but not thereafter. Thus, the project must have a name for the first time set-up. 

If you do not have a Wright State username, you cannot be a project owner. You must complete the attestation form, and send it to the project owner who will send it to REDCap@wright.edu including the project name, your full name and general status (e.g., a non_WSU physician working at Premier Health).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is eligible for REDCap access?

    Internal to Wright State University/Wright State Research Institute:

    • Faculty (including clinical or adjunct title faculty), staff, and residents – automatically approved as Project Owners.
    • Students – Can be a Secondary Owner, but not a Project Owner.

    External to Wright State University/Wright State Research Institute:

    • External users can be a Secondary Owner or Project Member on a per project basis.
  • My REDCap access is gone – what happened to it?

    There are a couple of situations in which user access is discontinued.

    1. User access to a project can be suspended by the Project Owner.
    2. The Wright State University/Wright State Research Institute system administrators will end access when you leave the university or after a one-year period of dormancy.

    Thus, if you have not left the university, first check with the Project Owner.

  • Where is the REDCap system hosted?

    REDCap at Wright State University is hosted by the Wright State Research Institute (WSRI). The REDCap Development Group serves as the REDCap Administrators for Wright State: comprised of Information Technology (IT) personnel and content user support, Dr. Marjorie Bowman and Dr. Rose Maxwell. REDCap Administrators have specific rights determined by REDCap policy and/or Wright State policy.

  • How difficult is REDCap to use?

    REDCap is generally easy for simple surveys and longitudinal data collection. The REDCap website development tool provides clear instructions and links to additional information about successive specific tasks.

  • How can I get help with REDCap use?

    You should first seek information at the REDCap website and view training embedded in the software. If you are a REDCap user, you should ask the Project Owner or Secondary Project Owner.

    REDCap@wright.edu is the helpdesk contact mailbox. It is supported by the REDCap Development Group.

    Many questions thought to be REDCap are actually research methods questions. Consider which is the real question, how to do the research or how to use REDCap to support the research? The REDCap Wright State University/Wright State Research Institute web content also includes additional information useful in doing REDCap projects.

  • How can I get educated in the use of REDCap?

    Any Wright State University associated user is required to do REDCap website training (projectredcap.org) prior to using REDCap. (See attestation statements for the specific requirement by type of user.)

    The REDCap website has multiple videos and embedded instructions.

    There are multiple YouTube videos online. Once a year (generally) there is a full Coursera course on the use of REDCap. There are also multiple resources available through web searching.

    The REDCap Wright State University webpage also includes additional information useful in doing REDCap projects.

  • I have a collaborator who is not a WSU faculty/staff/or student, and who is not a voluntary clinical faculty. How can they get access to our mutual project?

    The Project Owner will need to send a completed attestation statement for that person to REDCap@wright.edu to give them user rights. See user definitions and eligibility (question No. 2)

  • I am a Wright State University student. How do I get access to use REDCap for a project?

    Students are permitted to be Secondary Owners, but not the Project Owner. In general, you will have some advisor (faculty or staff) for any project you wish to do, and s/he will need to submit a request to be the Project Owner for your project, and for you to be designated as a Secondary Owner or general REDCap user. The Project Owner retains the responsibility to ensure the project is appropriately managed.

  • Can Premier Health physicians or staff have access to REDCap? If so, how?

    If the Premier Health Physician or staff is concurrently Wright State University faculty (including voluntary clinical faculty), s/he is eligible to be a Project Owner (see eligibility question No. 2). If not, an eligible Project Owner must request that the physician or staff be given project rights. See user definitions and eligibility.

  • Are there restrictions on what I can use REDCap for?

    REDCap is to be used for academic research. Do not use REDCap for storing official Wright State University/Wright State Research Institute business data or in place of patient medical records.

  • What kind of projects does REDCap best support?

    REDCap is a software toolset and workflow methodology for electronic collection and management of research and clinical trial data.  REDCap is typically used for chart reviews and prospective clinical research studies, but can be used for many other types of projects. REDCap may not be ideal for projects like registries, repositories, or those with an indefinite timeframe, particularly for novice users.  It is best with either surveys and one time data capture, or longitudinal projects with set instruments and arms (such as intervention versus control arms with data collection at baseline and 2 follow-up time points).

  • What is a REDCap Project Owner? Secondary Owner? REDCap User? What is the difference between a REDCap Project Owner and the Principal Investigator (PI)?

    REDCap User: Anyone who signs up for a user account.

    Project Owner: Designated owner of any separate project.

    Principal Investigator (PI): the PI of the research project. The PI may or may not be the Project Owner. For example, the Project Owner could be the Research Manager of a large research project for which there is a different PI. Generally, the PI will be the Project Owner and can give broad REDCap access rights to the Research Manager. Thus, the Research Manager can set up and oversee the research assistants and their rights, databases, and project implementation. 

    Secondary Owners: The Project Owner must designate a Secondary Owner for every project, and request access for the Secondary Owner on a per project basis. This assists during Project Owner illness or leave of absence, or an apparently dormant account. Thus, one of the requirements to move a project to Production will be to have a designated Secondary Owner. The research manager of a project can be a Secondary Owner.

  • Why is a Secondary Owner required?

    Having a Secondary Owner assists during Project Owner illness or leave of absence, or an apparently dormant account. One of the requirements to move a project to from Development Mode to Production will be to have a designated Secondary Owner.

  • What is the relationship of REDCap to the IRB?

    There is no formal relationship between REDCap and the Wright State University IRB. However, use of REDCap helps investigators to meet many of the requirements enforced through the IRB. See example statement for description of a REDCap project for IRB submissions (#16).

  • Is there a standard statement to describe the use of REDCap for my project to the IRB or granting agencies?

    Statements should be consistent with the type of project undertaken. Here is an example of wording that could be appropriate for many types of projects:

    Example: The project will be undertaken with the assistance of REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture), a software toolset and workflow methodology for electronic collection and management of research and clinical trial data. REDCap data collection projects rely on a study-specific data dictionary, developed iteratively with a testing process. All users are given individual usernames and passwords and their access is restricted on a role-specific basis. Surveys and other data collection instruments created in REDCap can engage potential respondents using a variety of notification methods.  REDCap provides secure, web-based applications that provide an intuitive interface for users to enter data with real time validation rules (with automated data type and range checks) at the time of entry. These systems offer easy data manipulation with full audit trails and reporting, and an automated export mechanism to common statistical packages (Excel, SPSS, SAS, Stata, R/S-Plus). REDCap servers are securely housed in an on-site limited access data center managed by the Wright State Research Institute at Wright State University. All web-based information transmission is SSL encrypted. All the data is stored on a private, firewall protected network. REDCap was developed specifically around HIPAA-Security guidelines and is implemented and maintained according to these standards. REDCap has >1,700 active institutional consortium partners in 98 countries, > 200,000 projects, >300,000 users internationally (see updated info at projectredcap.org ).1

    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.

    Link to article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1532046408001226

  • What is the required REDCap Citation for publications using data acquired through REDCap?

    The following is from the projectredcap.org  website.

    “We recommend the following boilerplate language:

    Study data were collected and managed using REDCap electronic data capture tools hosted at Wright State University/Wright State Research Institute. 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.1

    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.

    Link to article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1532046408001226

  • Why must the Wright State University REDCap Development Group approve my project to move from Development to Production?

    The Development Group has ultimate authority on approving migration to production mode, and must perform the actual IT process for the migration. The main role of the oversight is to prevent common major user errors reported by other institutions. This is the norm in the industry.

  • Are there fees or charges for using REDCap?

    There are no fees for basic use of the system. Getting the correct biostatistical or methodologic support for project development or analyses may require paying for the needed assistance. Fees may also be charged for requests for reinstating a back-up/archived version of the project due to user error, based on level of effort required.

  • What is the security of the data provided by Wright State University?

    REDCap data is stored, protected and backed up based on HIPAA compliant policies & procedures. However, REDCap project owners are additionally responsible to ensure data extracted out of the system is de-identified, and ePHI (electronic protected health information) is protected.

  • Please explain what the administrator rights, versus user rights, are for REDCap. Administrators have certain rights that users do not for security and data integrity reasons.

    Wright State University/Wright State Research Institute REDCap Administrator Rights (from project-redcap.org)

    REDCap information technology system administrators, also known as superusers by REDCap, have the ability to do several things that REDCap end users (regular users) cannot do. The following is a list of some of these capabilities.

    1. Move a project to production.
    2. Add custom text to the top of the Home page of a project.
    3. Add custom text to the top of all Data Entry pages of a project.
    4. Add custom logo and institution name to the top of every page of a project.
    5. Add grant to be cited.
    6. Display a different language for text within a project. The languages available vary by institution.
    7. Turn Double Data Entry on and off.
    8. Customize the date shift range for date shifting de-identification.
    9. Approve API token requests.
    10. Delete all API tokens.
    11. Create an SQL field, generally used to create a dynamic dropdown list with data drawn either from the same project or another.
    12. For project already in production:
      1. Add/modify events.
      2. Designate instruments to events.
      3. Convert an instrument that is a survey to being a data entry instrument only.
      4. Erase all data.
      5. Move the project back to development status.
      6. Delete the project.
    13. Suspend and unsuspend users from all of REDCap. Note, however, that expiring a users’ access to a specific project does not require a REDCap administrator.
    14. Reset the password for a user.
    15. Update the email address associated with an account for a user, in case that user is neither able to log in nor has access to the email address associated with their account.