Research Infrastructure

REDCap FAQ

FAQs


Introductory Material

  1. What is REDCap?
  2. Can you show me some examples of what REDCap can do?

Getting Started

  1. Where (URL) can I access REDCap?
  2. Off campus access?
  3. Access for colleagues from other institutions and/or organisations
  4. What browsers are recommended in using REDCap?
  5. Can I access REDCap on mobile devices?

Finances

  1. Costs? (To be completed)

Running a Survey

  1. If somebody makes a mistake and erases part of a survey – can I roll it back?
  2. Can I lock the survey so no further changes can be made?
  3. Can I send email from REDCap to data subjects?
  4. Can I send mobile text messages from REDCap to data subjects?
  5. Can different users of my survey have different access levels? And how?
  6. Can I embed audio and video within REDCap?
  7. How do I export the data from REDCap?
  8. Does REDCap track changes or have an audit trail?
  9. How do I manage a longitudinal study in REDCap?
  10. What plugins are provided with the UoM REDCap service and do they cost anything?

RDM and Information Security

  1. Information Governance perspective: What data can I store in REDCap?
  2. Is an Information Governance Risk Review (IGRR) required from REDCap?
  3. If I export data from REDCap what are the Information Governance requirements?
  4. How do I archive my survey in alignment with RDM requirements including retention periods?
  5. I need to capture sensitive data e.g., date of birth etc – is there any way I can do this?
  6. To what level has REDCap been validated? (Pen testing/internal penetration tests etc)

More Help

  1. If I need to speak to someone – how do I make contact?
  2. Where can I get more help?

Answers

Introductory Material

What is REDCap?

REDCap is a secure web application for building and managing online surveys and databases.
While REDCap can be used to collect virtually any type of data, it is specifically geared
to support online or offline data capture for research studies and operations.

Can you show me some examples of what REDCap can do?

REDCap can support several different types of projects, including longitudinal studies and online
surveys. The software is most frequently used for clinical and research purposes, but it has a proven
track record of supporting almost every type of data, from quality control studies to animal studies and
administrative tracking projects. It has many features, including:

  • Online or offline project design
  • Fast and flexible – Conception to production-level database or survey in less than one day.
  • Audit trails for tracking data manipulation and user activity.
  • Automated export procedures for seamless data downloads to Excel, PDF, and common statistical packages (SPSS, SAS, Stata, R).
  • A built-in project calendar
  • A scheduling module
  • Ad hoc reporting tools
  • Plus many advanced features such as branching logic, file uploading, and calculated fields.

Some examples of REDCap can be seen at:

https://projectredcap.org/software/try

Getting Started

Where (URL) can I access REDCAP?

REDCap can be accessed at:

https://www.redcap.rss.mhs.man.ac.uk

Please note you will need an account to access it.

Off campus access?

REDCap is currently on an external IP address so it can be accessed from almost anywhere in the world.

Access for colleagues from other institutions and/or organisations

Access can be granted for external collaborators, only if a University of Manchester staff member is involved in the survey.The REDCap license agreement states that “If you are coordinating a multi-centre study where the PI is at your local institution, you are well within your rights to use REDCap to support the study. On the other hand, if you want to use your local REDCap installation to support researchers at another institution (for single- or multi-centre studies) where you don’t have a local researcher involved in the study, this can be a violation of the licensing agreement. Offering external research teams the use of a REDCap installation on a fee-for-service basis (or even gratis) is strictly forbidden under the licensing model.”

What browsers are recommended in using REDCap?

REDCap is accessible from any device having internet access, including the browsers of any smart phones or tablets.

Can I access REDCap on mobile devices?

Mobile users can access REDCap using the REDCap mobile app on an iPhone, iPad or Android phone or tablet.

Finances

Costs? (To be completed)

— basic support
— advanced support
— basic usage
— storage/archive

—plugins such as twilio

Please speak to Research IT in the first instance.

Running a Survey

If somebody makes a mistake and erases part of a survey – can I roll it back?

Yes, if the project is in Production Mode then you can extract the data instrument from a previous data dictionary under Project Setup->data revision history. Once a project is fully tested and ready to begin collecting real data, it is moved from development mode to production mode. The benefit of being in production mode is that it helps prevent users from making changes to their data collection instruments that might result in accidental data loss. REDCap projects can continue to change structurally and grow as study needs change, but in production mode, some changes don’t take affect immediately, so users have a safety net to double check how the changes might affect saved data before committing them.

Can I lock the survey so no further changes can be made?

Once a survey is in production mode it can only be changed if the changes are submitted as a draft version and reviewed and approved by a REDCap administrator. There are no real-time changes made to a survey in production mode.

Surveys can be moved to “inactive” or “archive” status if data collection has been completed.

Can I send email from REDCap to data subjects?

Yes. Email invitations with a link to the survey can be sent to potential participants by clicking on the ” Manage Survey Participants” link on the project homepage. Then click on “Participant List” tab and add their email addresses. Once they have been added click on the “Compose Survey Invitations” button to write your invitation, specify a time when it should be sent, and whether a reminder email should be sent if a participant has not responded by a specified time. Then click on the “Send Invitations” button to invite them to complete the survey.

Can I send mobile text messages from REDCap to data subjects?

Yes. REDCap has the capability to make voice calls and send SMS text messages to survey respondents by using a third-party web service named Twilio (www.twilio.com). In this way, you could invite a participant to take a survey by sending them an SMS message or by calling them on their phone.There are many different options available for how you can invite participants and how they can take your surveys, either as a voice call survey or as an SMS conversation. If you do not see the option to enable “Twilio SMS and Voice Call services for surveys” on the Project Setup page > Enable optional modules and customisations, contact the REDCap Administrators by emailing ITS-REDCAP-ADMIN@listserv.manchester.ac.uk.

Can different users of my survey have different access levels? And how?

Yes. An administrator of a project can assign each user a role (e.g., Project Manager, Data Entry) on a per project basis. This is done by navigating to the “User Rights” tab on the project homepage where users can be added to a project and their role defined.

Can I embed audio and video within REDCap?

Yes. The Online Designer will allow users to supply a video URL for a Descriptive field on a form or survey, where it will provide a button that, when clicked, will play the embedded video inline or inside a popup dialogue. The Online Designer can also take an attached audio file (e.g., MP3, WAV) for a Descriptive field and display it in an embedded audio player on the data entry form or survey page.

How do I export the data from REDCap?

Click on the “Data Exports, Reports, and Stats” link on the Applications panel on your project page. This allows you to easily view reports of your data, inspect plots and descriptive statistics of your data, as well as export your data to Microsoft Excel, SAS, Stata, R, or SPSS for analysis.

Does REDCap track changes or have an audit trail?

Yes. REDCap’s logging module lists all changes made to a project, including data exports, data changes, and the creation or deletion of users.

How do I access REDCap’s logging module?

TBC

How do I manage a longitudinal study in REDCap?

A longitudinal project is created by selecting the “Longitudinal / repeating forms” collection format for data entry forms when creating or requesting a new project. A longitudinal project is similar to a traditional data collection project in that multiple data entry forms are defined. However unlike the traditional model, forms in a longitudinal project can be completed repeatedly for a single record. The longitudinal model allows any data entry page to be repeated any given number of times across pre-defined time-points, which are specified by the user before data is collected. So rather than repeating a data entry form multiple times in the Data Dictionary, it can exist only once in the Data Dictionary but be repeated N number of times using the longitudinal model.

The longitudinal project also lets you define “events” for your project that allow the utilisation of data collection forms multiple times for any given database record. An “event” may be a temporal event in the course of your project such as a participant visit or a task to be performed. After events have been defined, you will need to designate the data entry forms that you wish to utilise for any or all events, thus allowing you to use a form for multiple events for the same database record. You may group your events into “arms” in which you may have one or more arms/groups for your project. Each arm can have as many events as you wish. You may use the table provided to create new events and/or arms, or modify existing ones. One arm and one event will be initially defined as the default for all databases.

What plugins are provided with the University of Manchester REDCap service and do they cost anything?

The following optional modules supplied with a standard REDCap installation are enabled:

  • Biomedical ontologies
  • e-consent framework ( for electronic signatures)
  • Twilio SMS and Voice Call services for surveys
  • Computer adaptive tests (CATs) and Auto-scoring instruments
  • Embedded Video
  • XML export for project backup
  • Graphical Data View & Stats Module

There is one external plugin installed:

  • Multilingual – v1.8.9 (Allows surveys and data entry forms to be translated.)

There are no charges for the use of the plug-ins ( this could change in the future if a charge for the REDCap service is introduced ).

Research Data Management (RDM) and Information Security

What data can I store in REDCap?

Redcap can collect and store virtually any type of data but is primarily designed to support data capture for research studies.

Is an Information Governance Risk Review (IGRR) required from REDCap?

For any new projects which could potentially involve collecting restricted/highly restricted data than a Information Governance Risk Review should be undertaken. This will help to ensure that any potential data protection issues are highlighted and then subsequently addressed.

If I export data from REDCap what are the Information Governance requirements?

Any data exported from REDCap should be stored and processed in line with University of Manchester  (UoM) RDM policy on University approved systems in a manner appropriate to its security classification.

Contractual funder, or data provider requirements may specify additional requirements which will need to be met.

How do I archive my survey in alignment with RDM requirements including retention periods?

In general if data within REDCap supports published research or is needed to reproduce findings or considered to have long term value then it should be retained in line with University RDM Policy. Local arrangements, contractual funder or data provider requirements may specify a longer retention period. When archiving data an approved repository or archiving solution should be used that aligns with UoM RDM/External funder policy.

I need to capture sensitive data e.g., date of birth etc – is there any way I can do this?

At present the University of Manchester REDCap Service is not suitable for collecting personal/sensitive data which contains identifiable information. It is worth questioning what data needs to be collected and why? e.g. is it necessary to collect the full date of birth or would year of birth suffice?

If there is a justifiable reasons for acquiring personal/sensitive data with identifiable information can it be separated from the actual research data collected using REDCap using anonymisation/pseudo-anonymisation methods.

To what level has RedCap been validated? (Pen testing/internal penetration tests etc)

The REDCap server has been Pen tested twice by an external security company. Any vulnerabilities identified were then fixed. The University of Manchester’s IT Security team have also undertaken multiple vulnerability scans of the REDCap server.

More Help

If I need to speak to someone – how do I make contact?

ITS-REDCAP-ADMIN@listserv.manchester.ac.uk

Where can I get more help?

ITS-REDCAP-ADMIN@listserv.manchester.ac.uk

Last modified on July 18, 2019 at 12:29 pm by Andrew Gilchrist