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User Documentation

All REDCap users must have their own account.  Accounts are not to be shared.  The application for a user account is available through the link near the bottom of the Request Account webpage:Request Account Page.

The Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBMI) hosts the REDCap application on both Demo and Production servers. The Demo server is provided as a means to “try out” the software, develop data entry forms, and train new users. Any user can create databases on the Demo server.  Collection of real data is not permitted on the Demo server. The Production server is reserved for IRB-approved studies and studies with IRB waivers.  Project-account applications for requesting access to the REDCap Production server are available through the link near the bottom of the Request Account webpage: Request Account Page.

A REDCap project account authorizes the creation of REDCap databases associated with the specific project named in the application.  Multiple databases can be created for a project as long as they are all associated with the project specified in the application.  Different projects require different project-account applications.

The project PI designates a REDCap Project Administrator (PA) on the project-account application.  Only the PI and PA are authorized to create study data on the Production server.  The PI and PA are responsible for granting data access to other users.

User Accounts

“Inactive accounts” will be suspended on both the DEMO and PRODUCTION servers, in order to prevent system access by users who are no longer associated with REDCap projects, but for various reasons we have not been notified of their departure. Currently the suspension tools for both servers operate independently so users may receive multiple suspension notifications. We hope to evolve this process into a more convenient and streamlined approach in the future.

Accounts will be suspended on the Demo server if no activity is detected after 9 months, and on the Production server after 6 months. Users who need to have their accounts reactivated for either server will need to submit an email request to our REDCap support queue [].

When possible, user supervisors should notify the REDCap Administrators when one of their users is departing the university and will no longer be associated with the REDCap data system.  Accounts of departing users will be suspended to prevent any further access by the user.  Users who are merely changing departments within their organization do not need to have their accounts suspended.


IRB Approval

CBMI is not responsible for granting, approving, or waiving IRB project approvals.  Any questions regarding IRB compliance with regard to project data should be directed toward the appropriate review board. All research projects on the Production server must obtain an IRB approval or waiver before the project will be granted access.  The Project primary investigators are responsible for ensuring that their project protocols allow for data capture, storage and retrieval on our REDCap installation. HRPO’s recommendation is for Quality Improvement project researchers to contact the Expedited Review Manager and request a determination on what approval is needed for their data collection. Determinations are made on a case by case basis.


REDCap Servers

User Right/Access

Access to the secure REDCap servers is provided in compliance with WUSM’s HIPAA guideline.  Each user is responsible for the security of their password.  Passwords for the Test and Production servers are managed separately and may set to different values by the user.   The REDCap software enforces a minimum level of complexity in the user passwords.

Project PI’s and project administrators (PA) are granted full user rights to their project.  It is the responsibility of the PI and PA to grant or restrict all other user’s privileges for the project.  REDCap administrators will provide an approved user with system level access, but not project level access.

Demo Server

The Demo server is available to develop and refine projects, and is not intended to capture real data.  Production status has been disabled and is not allowed on Demo server.  Both the Production and Demo servers are secure REDCap installations, so that any real data stored on the either server will be protected.  Projects that are discovered to be collection real data on the Demo server will have to be moved by the Project Administrator to the Production server.

Production Server

The Production server is intended for IRB-approved projects (or projects with IRB waivers) that contain real data.   Production status is only permitted on this server, as it requires a greater level of administrative oversight.  Projects may be developed directly on the Production server but should be thoroughly tested before being moved to production status in order to avoid delays.

Project Status

A project can exist in “development” or “production” status.  Development status allows for rapid project development as all changes to a project are immediately applied.

Once a project is moved to “production status” some design changes must be approved by an REDCap administrator.  The approval process allows changes to be reviewed and checked for logical errors that could lead to data corruption.  The review process is not a replacement for proper testing though.  Changes to a project should be tested whenever possible using the either Demo server or a development copy of the project on the Production server.

User Training Material, Guidance, and Help Tips

REDCap is designed to be a self-service tool with minimal external instruction required to develop and deploy a project.  Tutorial videos, a built-in frequently asked questions knowledge bank, and embedded documentation all work together to guide the user in the use of the software.  Further examples and assistance can be obtained from our WUSM REDCap Page [], or from the WUSM REDCap Administrators.  Each REDCap consortium member institution hosts its own separate and independent REDCap server instance.    REDCap software options, features and policies will vary depending on which institution is hosting the instance.  Please direct any inquiries you might have to the REDCap administrators who are in charge of the instance that is hosting your project.

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