Introduction to REDCap
REDCap is a secure web application for building and managing online surveys and databases, and is suitable for a broad range of research activity.
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. It provides audit trails for tracking data manipulation and user activity, scheduling tools, ad hoc reporting, data validation and export functionality into formats such as CSV, SPSS, SAS, R, Stata, CDISC ODM (XML) and PDF.
REDCap is accessible from any device with an internet connection. You can run it on mobile devices (iPads/tablets) as well as a laptops and Personal Computers. When you enter data into REDCap, it looks and feels as if it is running on your own computer, but it is actually running on our University servers, which provides increased security. You can import data into REDCap as well as export data from REDCap.
REDCap is available for all Western researchers and students, and their collaborators on research projects.
There is no cost for the use of REDCap, but its use is only permitted for non-commercial research purposes. All users must agree to the User Conditions, which are outlined below.
To gain access to REDCap, please complete REDCap Access Request Form DOCX, 41.32 KB (opens in a new window) and you will be provided with login details. Each user must have a separate account.
Access to REDCap through Western Sydney University is subject to the following terms and conditions:
- Western Sydney University (Western) is subject to the REDCap Non-Profit End-User License Agreement, made by and between Vanderbilt (Vanderbilt) University and Western Sydney University. All Western-authorised users of RedCap must comply with the Licensing Agreement. (opens in a new window)
- Notwithstanding the Licensing Agreement, all users are also subject to the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (HRIP Act) and all other privacy and ethical considerations. Please refer to the NSW Privacy Laws (opens in a new window) for more information.
- REDCap use is only permitted for non-commercial research purposes.
- All users are required to be competent in the use of REDCap and functionalities. Western administrators do not provide functional support. Study set-up and allocation of user privileges is the responsibility of the User/s. Please note that the consequences of poor user rights assignments could be damaging to both the security and integrity of your project. For instance, giving record deletion or project design rights to an untrained person could result in data loss or database integrity issues.
- Certain REDCap functions can only be performed by the REDCap administrator at Western. These requests are made within the application. Request for these functions to be completed are ultimately the responsibility of the user, and the administrator will not generally perform any quality control and risk management as to the request. For example, requesting a project to move into production mode may cause loss of test data, and the Administrator will not necessarily reconfirm this with the user.
- REDCap is not to be used as a data repository beyond the active life of your project. Research rules around data retention, and your responsibilities under the HRIP Act are managed outside of the REDCap application.
Frequently Asked Questions
What software and browsers do I need?
REDCap runs on a variety of browsers including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari, as well as smartphones and mobile devices. No other software is needed.
What REDCap support and training is available?
REDCap support at Western is limited to managing the REDCap application and underlying IT infrastructure, ensuring that:
- REDCap is running and available
- REDCap is regularly updated with the latest versions and security patched
There are many useful training resources available within the application.
To access the Training Resources:
- Login to Western’s REDCap website (opens in a new window)
- Select Help & FAQ and / or Training Videos
There is a large online community of users, with many support resources (opens in a new window) available. Intersect also runs regular training sessions (opens in a new window) for the use of REDCap.
How do I set-up and manage my projects in REDCap?
With regards to running and managing projects within REDCap, study set-up is the responsibility of the User/s.
To ensure that REDCap users have access only to data and information that they are supposed to have access to within the application, user privileges are utilised within the software. Each user has their own account, and their user account will only have access to REDCap projects that they themselves have created or to projects to which other users have granted them access.
User privileges are also granular on the project level and can be modified within any given project by someone with proper privileges accessing the project’s User Rights page. The creator of a project will automatically be given full rights to everything within the project, after which they may grant other users access to the project and limit those users’ privileges as desired. Within each project, there are user controls to limit access to various functionality and modules, such as being able to export data, to enter data, to add or modify database fields or survey questions, to build or run reports, to modify user privileges, to view the logging records, and so on.
Please note the consequences of poor user rights assignments could be damaging to both the security and integrity of your project. For instance, giving record deletion or project design rights to an untrained person could result in data loss or database integrity issues.
How many databases, studies, projects or surveys can I have?
There is no limit to the number of databases, studies, projects or surveys you can have.
Is my REDCap data backed up?
Yes. REDCap projects are backed up on a regularly scheduled basis. The backup data files are kept in a secured environment and are available for recovery.
Please also note that REDCap is not to be used as a data repository beyond the active life of your project. Research rules around data retention, and your responsibilities under the HRIP Act are to managed outside of the REDCap application.