REDCap User Guides

REDCap User Guides

From guidance on how to register for a REDCap account to more comprehensive guides on how to navigate the platform to meet your research needs, this page contains information for all stages of the REDCap project management process.

A young woman wearing a gold bracelet types data from a paper booklet into her laptop.

Getting Started

Project Setup Page

This guide describes REDCap’s Project Setup page, which contains the checklist of items to be completed before moving the project into Production (going live).

Optional Modules and Customizations

This guide describes all of the features found in the Optional Modules and Customizations header under the Project Setup page, such as repeatable instruments and events, auto-numbering for records, the randomization module, designating an email field to use for survey invitations and setting a custom record label.

Deleting a Project in REDCap

REDCap is primarily a data collection tool and is not intended for long-term storage of study data, especially if it contains PHI. This guide describes how to delete a project from REDCap so that is does not remain on the REDCap servers indefinitely.

Building Guides

Using Branching Logic

This guides describes how to format and apply branching logic, also known as skip logic, to questions using the Online Designer method to build a database in REDCap.

Action Tags

Action Tags provide a way to customize the data entry experience for surveys and forms. They are special terms that begin with the ‘@’ sign that can be placed inside a field’s Field Annotation box when adding or editing a field. Each action tag has a corresponding action that is performed for the field when displayed on data entry forms and survey pages.

Data Entry and Surveys

Creating and Distributing a Single Survey

This guide describes how to create and distribute a single survey, methods for collecting anonymous and non-anonymous survey data, how to set up longitudinal survey collection and how to get notified when a participant submits a survey.

Modules Help

Data Exports

This guide describes how to export your project’s data from REDCap into Excel or a statistical package, such as SPSS or SAS.

Using the File Repository

This application may be used for storing and retrieving project files and documents, such as a blank copy of your consent forms or data entry guides. You may upload files here to save for retrieval later or download previously uploaded files. After a data export, the resulting data and syntax files are stored here also.

Randomization Module

The randomization module in REDCap will help you implement a pre-defined randomization model within your project, allowing you to randomize your subjects (i.e. records in your project). This guide describes how to set up and use the Randomization Module within REDCap.

Alerts and Notifications

The Alerts and Notifications feature allows you to construct alerts and send customized email notifications. These notifications may be sent to one or more recipients and can be triggered or scheduled when a form/survey is saved and/or based on conditional logic whenever data is saved or imported

Custom Record Auto-Numbering

This module allows users to create a custom record auto-numbering schema for their REDCap project, such as having the first record ID created start at 1000 or 001 instead of 1, append all record IDs with a prefix (ABC-1, ABC-2, ABC-3, etc.), or having the DAG name appear in the record ID (UF-1, UF-2, UF-3) instead of the DAG ID (98-1, 98-2, 98-3, etc.) when utilizing DAGs in a project.

DAG Switcher

Using the DAG Switcher, users assigned to Data Access Groups (DAGs) can optionally be assigned to multiple DAGs, in which they may be given the privilege of switching in and out of specifically assigned DAGs on their own. Users can also be given “No assignment” in addition to being assigned to a DAG (or DAGs) so they can switch back-and-forth between their assigned DAG(s), allowing them to easily create/update/view records within that DAG, or create/view/update all records across the entire project when they switch to “No assignment.”

Prevent Past or Future Dates External Module

This REDCap module adds the new actions tags @PREVENT-FUTUREDATE and @PREVENT-PASTDATE that can be applied to date fields – i.e., a text field with date or date/time validation applied – to disallow entry of dates in the future or past, respectively


Twilio-REDCap Setup

REDCap has the capability to send SMS text messages to survey respondents by using a third-party web service named Twilio. In this way, you could invite a participant to take a survey by sending them an SMS message instead of an email invitation.

REDCap Mobile App Setup

The REDCap Mobile App adds a new dimension to the software’s versatility by providing users with a tool for offline data collection when an internet connection is not available.

Linear Data Entry Workflow

This REDCap external module forces a linear data entry workflow across REDCap forms and events by removing access to any form which does not immediately follow the last completed form. This module also prevents users from marking a form as “Complete” if any of the required fields on a form are blank, thereby blocking access to the next form until all required fields have data in them. Additionally, LDEW can be configured to automatically lock forms upon completion for certain user roles.

Form Render Skip Logic

This REDCap external module functions as branching/skip logic for entire REDCap forms and surveys. It provides a means for hiding or displaying entire forms/surveys based upon one or more control fields or conditions. FRSL hides unneeded forms for a specific record on the list of Data Collection Instruments due at each event, and grays out the colored buttons for the unneeded forms on the Record Status Dashboard and the Record Home Page.

Save Survey PDF to a Field

This REDCap external module generates a PDF of a survey upon completion and automatically saves it to a file upload field within that subject’s record. It is configured at the project level with source instrument (survey) / target field (file upload) pairs. In the event of save errors, the PDF is sent to a backup email address. This module is especially helpful for those using eConsenting in REDCap.

Image Map

This REDCap module replaces a text, radio, or checkbox field with an image that users can interact with to select one or more options. Specific applications include a body map (the over 70 body regions), a smile scale from 1-7 with facial expressions, and 3 representations of teeth and teeth surfaces.


This REDCap module protects a public survey with a CAPTCHA. This option will allow users to add protection to their public survey using Google’s CAPTCHA functionality, which can prevent bots from entering trash data into a public survey.

REDCap PDF Action Tags

This REDCap External Module provides action tags for controlling PDF output. The action tags allow you to suppress data in text fields, the enumerations in radio and checkbox fields, hide field notes and add whitespace to a field label to push down the next field on the PDF page.