How to Get Started

  1. Email to discuss your research proposal and plan.
  2. Establish a REDCap contract or renew an existing contract(s) by completing the REDCap Services Request Form (requests must be completed by the PI). It is important to have your project specifics and user account information available. At the conclusion of the form, please download, complete and return the required forms to the REDCap administrator <>. These forms will define the terms and conditions of service. Click here to view REDCap fees. 
  3. Obtain Logins. After a REDCap contract is finalized, PIs will have a REDCap account created for them. Each designated REDCap team leader and/or research assistant will also need to have a REDCap account created for them to be able to access the project in REDCap.

    IMPORTANT: PIs must first confirm account requests for their team leaders and research assistants by emailing the REDCap administrator <>. Once research assistants are approved by the PI and REDCap administrator, they must apply (or renew) for a REDCap user account by also completing the REDCap Services Request FormAfter all accounts are created, the PI will grant permission to each of their researchers and have control over who has access to their REDCap project.
  4. Create Projects. In REDCap, the term "project" means a database structure and a survey instrument that feeds information into the database. The CRMDA REDCap administrator initiates all REDCap projects. Additional projects can be requested using the REDCap Services Request Form
  5. Login! Go to the login screen to access the secure REDCap server and start creating a data collection instrument for your project.

REDCap is a Team-Oriented Framework

Once all REDCap user accounts are created using the REDCap Services Request Form, users have no project privileges until the PI, or someone the PI has delegated to manage the project, allows that user to participate. The REDCap framework puts the responsibility for project management on the Principal Investigator.  The Principal Investigator has the duty of making sure that all pieces of information that need to be secured are properly protected and has the right to designate other research team members to design surveys and import/export information.

Difference between the "PI" and "REDCap PI"

Some research projects are so large that the PI is too busy to manage details in REDCap. In cases like that, another team member will be designated as the REDCap Principal Investigator (REDCap PI).  This is necessary because CRMDA staff needs to know which team member is the primary point-of-contact. When new projects are created, we will ask for the name and email address of the PI and REDCap PI in case they are different individuals. 

It is important to remember that the overall PI of a research team is still legally responsible for the protection of private information. Delegating the managerial duties to a REDCap PI does not change that fact.

Technical limitations of the REDCap framework

Number of Records Allowed: The REDCap server is designed to handle projects with no more than 15,000 records. If a project is allowed to grow significantly beyond that size, the server becomes slow/unstable during some phases of data retrieval. Please take this into account when developing your project in REDCap. CRMDA has some experience advising teams that need to split projects into segments or otherwise re-organize data in order to remain under the 15,000 record limit.

Size Limit of Data Upload: In addition, there is a security-based limit on the size of a data upload. The limit is 10,000 data elements. A survey should be limited in size so that no respondent ever tries to upload 10,000 data elements. In this context, a data element is a possible answer in a questionnaire. CRMDA's REDCap Administrator is willing to consult with projects that get close to this limit.  In our experience, almost all projects do not approach the 10,000 element limit.  Reaching that limit is usually a sign that a survey instrument is badly designed.

For More Information Please Contact:

REDCap Administration
The University of Kansas
Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis
1425 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045 -7594

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