REDCap New Project Quick Start

Follow these steps to save time and prevent errors.

Create a New Project

  1. Click Create New Project tab:
    1. Use Wright State University guidelines for naming your project (see Best Practices, Naming Conventions). This helps everyone stay organized.
      1. Format: Department, start year, PI, project short name
      2. Example: FAMMED 2016 Bowman Survey New Students
    2. Determine Project Main Settings:
      1. Project settings:
        1. Enter title, PI, purpose of project, type of project, and IRB number (if applicable).
        2. Select an appropriate database template –
          1. For almost all projects, it is much easier to change a current template than to create one entirely de novo. You can change topics, delete variables/ forms/ events, add items, etc.
          2. It is the only way to automatically import the predefined Wright State University/Wright State Research Institute User Rights/Role Profiles, which saves time and prevents common unintended errors.
        3. Select type of project forms involved (one or both):
          1. Longitudinal
            1. If this option is not selected at the beginning of a project, it cannot be added later (i.e., after going to production)
          2. Survey – if the only aspect of the project is a survey.
  2. Design data collection instruments:
    1. Add, Modify, and Delete forms in the template to customize the project to fit your study design and topic.
    2. Many standardized instruments are available in the REDCap Shared Library.  Using a validated, standardized instrument saves time and frequently makes research more publishable than creating a new form or instrument de novo. 
    3. Pay attention to variable naming to use common names such as height or ht. (See Best Practices for more details on naming conventions and metadata.)
    4. Mark HIPAA identifiers to ensure that data exports will be de-identified. (See Best Practices for a list of the 18 HIPAA identifiers
    5. Advanced users may upload a data dictionary as an alternative to developing the forms.
    6. Designate Forms that are Surveys, if applicable.
      1. Customize survey settings including Introduction/Consent paragraph.
  3. Define Events and Arms (for longitudinal studies):
    1. Set up Events, e.g., study visits or assessment time-points, when assessments are repeated across time.
    2. Set up Study Arms when assessments are different or are at different intervals.
  4. Enable optional modules and customization:
    1. Auto-numbering for records (recommended).
    2. Scheduling - Select when participants have multiple timepoints that you need to track.
    3. Randomization - you will need a statistician on the project if you use this.
    4. Designate an e-mail field for use for invitations (used only when there are e-mailed surveys).
  5. Set up project bookmarks (if applicable) - These are links to other websites that can be imbedded in REDCap. They appear in the left side menu, not in forms.
  6. Set User Rights and Roles:
    1. Add users and select an appropriate role for each user based on pre-defined roles set up in the Wright State University/Wright State Research Institute project templates.  Wright State pre-defined user roles contain pre-selected user rights for each role. These are only accessible when you use a template in your initial project set up.
    2. Manually add user rights. If you did not use a template, you can manually set up the roles by manually copying the rights for the Wright State roles from the Best Practices user rights table.
  7. Test your project by entering fake data to make sure all functions are working.
  8. Delete fake data.
  9. Submit project for Move to Production.  Wright State Project Administrators will do a cursory review before accepting the move, then a confirmatory email is automatically generated to the requester.

Once the project is moved to Production, you are ready to enter data.