CRMDA offers REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) as a service for funded research projects that employ CRMDA consulting services. The standard rate for three years of REDCap service is $2,290. For details, please read below.

How to Get Started

  1. Discuss your research plan with the CRMDA director and formalize a project consulting Service Agreement (https://crmda.ku.edu/project-consulting). Language to justify the expense of the REDCap server will usually be inserted in grant proposal budget sections.
  2. Create a REDCap contract. To complete a service agreement or renew existing contracts, PI's must complete the REDCap Services Survey. Please have your project specifics and user account information available. At the conclusion of the survey, please download, complete, and return the required forms to the REDCap administrator <redcap_admin@ku.edu>. These forms will define the terms and conditions of service.
  3. Obtain Logins. After a REDCap Service Agreement is finalized, PIs will have an account created for them. Designated REDCap team leaders and research assistants can apply for and renew REDCap user IDs by completing the REDCap Services Survey. PIs must confirm requests by emailing the REDCap administrator <redcap_admin@ku.edu>. After the PI's account is created, he/she will have control over access to the REDCap project.
  4. Create Projects. In REDCap, the term "project" means a database structure and a survey instrument that feeds information into the database. Our REDCap administrator will initiate the first REDCap project and additional projects can be requested with the REDCap Services Survey
  5. Login! Go to the login screen for the secure REDCAP server. If your logins were created, and the project exists, then it is time to create a data collection instrument.

What is REDCap?

In brief, it is a clinical database-builder and survey management tool. It is similar in nature to many online survey tools, such as Qualtrics. The difference is that REDCap is explicitly designed for randomized clinical trials and longitudinal research projects. REDCap is more security conscious and is designed for academic research.

The REDCap server is administered by CRMDA staff, technicians in the KU Information and Telecommunication Technology Center (ITTC) and KU Information Technology (IT). REDCap resides on HIPAA compliant servers that have been certified by KU Information Security.

REDCap is developed by a consortium of Vanderbilt University, the NIH, and nearly 1,000 participating international research institutions, including KU.

Advantages of REDCap as your research data capture system:

  1. Highest level security assurances, HIPAA compliant servers
  2. Automated export procedures for seamless downloads of de-identified clinical data to common statistical packages (SPSS, SAS, Stata, R)
  3. Robust user rights control; PIs manage data access among team members
  4. Clinical report creation and data quality checks at participant and study level
  5. Audit trails for tracking project changes and data exports
  6. Data uploads via survey or bulk file uploads
  7. Intuitive interface for database/survey creation
  8. Branching logic and calculated fields to aid in real time participant screening and enrolling criteria
  9. Integrated scheduling and automated survey invitations
  10. Dynamic Data Pulls (DDP) for the direct importing of medical records or a similar database structure to a REDCap project
  11. This secure web-based system allows data to be validated upon entry into standardized formats compliant with NIH reporting.

REDCap Fee Structure

REDCap access is a service for which the CRMDA recovers its cost by following an approved rate structure.  The standard fee for REDCap access is $2,290 for a three year research project.  Additional years of access and storage are available at a rate of $500 per year. PIs can request renewals with the REDCap Services Survey.

The basic rate includes only a minimal amount of project support--just enough to get the researcher "up and running." We offer additional assistance in the planning and development of survey instruments on a fee-for-service basis. The hourly labor charge for that support is charged at the standard CRMDA rate.

REDCap is a Team-Oriented Framework

PIs and team members need to have REDCap accounts. PIs accounts are created with the completion of a service agreement. Team members and research assistants can apply for accounts with our REDCap Services Survey. Once accounts are created, additional 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 PI has the duty to make sure that the pieces of information that need to be secured are properly protected.  The Principal Investigator has the right to designate other research team members to design surveys and import/export information.

Clearing up confusion about the terms "PI" and "REDCap PI"

Over time, we have used various names for that "someone the PI has delegated", such as REDCap manager and REDCap PI. Some research projects are so large that the principal investigator is too busy to manage details in REDCap. In cases like that, another team member will be designated as the as the REDCap Principal Investigator (REDCap PI).  This is necessary because, for every project, 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 REDCap PI.

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.

CAUTION: Please be aware of the following technical limitations of the REDCap framework:

Our 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. We have asked all existing projects to take this into account and we insist that all new projects take this into account when surveys are designed.  We have 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.

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. We became aware of this limit in October 2017 and CRMDA's REDCap Administrator is willing to consult with projects that bump up against the 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.

Freecap Testing Environment

For research team members who need to work on "practice projects" before writing the real thing on REDCap, we offer a non-secure server that we call FREECap. FREECap is a REDCap system that is not HIPAA compliant.

We regularly update the REDCap software on this server. We do not make any promises or offer warranties on FREECap service. It is for testing of surveys and data-base structures. Team members who need access to FREECap can request an account with the REDCap Services Survey.

Human Subject / HIPAA Compliance Training

The level of formal Human Subjects / HIPAA compliance training is left to the discretion of the PI.  However, formal training for how to handle sensitive data is required by the University for all research projects (and most grant funding sources). When PIs ask us to initiate a REDCap project, we will ask for verification that the human subjects protocols have been fulfilled.

Human Subjects Training at the University of Kansas is administered by the KU Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) which offers instructions for completing the training and certification. The training sessions and certification are managed by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).

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
E-mail: redcap_admin@ku.edu

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