What is REDCap?

REDCap is a secure web platform for building and managing online databases and surveys. REDCap’s streamlined process for rapidly creating and designing projects offers a vast array of tools that can be tailored to virtually any data collection strategy. The system was developed by a multi-institutional consortium initiated at Vanderbilt University.

REDCap provides automated export procedures for seamless data downloads to Excel and common statistical packages (SPSS, SAS, Stata, R), as well as a built-in project calendar, a scheduling module, ad hoc reporting tools, and advanced features, such as branching logic, file uploading, and calculated fields. Also, designated users can assign different levels of access for each member of the research team. REDCap also provides functionality for creating and managing surveys.

REDCap may be used for research projects supported by a UChicago IRB. Data collection is customized for each project by each approved research team.

REDCap may not be used as a tool for clinical patient care.

REDCap is managed by the University of Chicago’s Biological Division. SSD has provisioned space under BSD’s license. SSCS can only manage accounts for the SSD Division. REDCap is a research tool intended to assists authorized users for approved research purposes with the expectation that researchers will use REDCap in a way that protects privacy and confidentiality of respondents and their data.


Before Starting

Obtain an IRB for the Project

  • All Users requesting access should be listed on the project’s IRB
  • In addition to your research goals as communicated in your IRB, please provide details on the project’s data management and data security in your IRB: data storage, data access, de-identification process, when applicable clear use of PII, PHI

Know the project folder you will be accessing, if one has not yet been created

***At the moment, SSCS is in the early trial phase and there is limited availability for access. Projects led by Principal Investigators with familiarity and direct need for REDCap will take priority. If interested in a consultation for a potential SSD REDCap project, please email ssd-dso@uchicago.edu***


Collaborators on REDCap

SSD can only add UChicago SSD accounts onto REDCap. Collaborators that are non-UChicago members cannot be added onto the platform and cannot be subsumed under a UChicago affiliation. Only UChicago employees can be involved in the project components related to REDCap (e.g. data collection, survey creation, project management.) Please plan your research project accordingly to this restriction.



Principal Investigators will be charged quarterly for their account on REDCap. There is a quarterly account cost estimate at $200.


Obtaining an Account

Please submit a request through the SSCS Ticketing Portal for a REDCap Project and User Access: REDCap User Access

We recommend allotting 1.5 weeks for account creation, given that all the prior steps have been addressed.


Requesting Account Renewal

Please submit a renewal request through the SSCS Ticketing Portal for Account Renewal: REDCap Account Renewal

REDCap allows one year renewal maximum at one time.

Using RedCap

User Accounts

User accounts are registered under the Biological Science Division. BSD requires an automatic one month renewal and a CNet password reset when first obtaining a REDCap account. Account activation and renewal emails will be sent by bsdis@bsd.uchicago.edu. If your account expires or if you need password help, please reach out to bsdis@bsd.uchicago.edu.

Once you have an account, you can login at https://redcap.uchicago.edu/


REDCap Training
  1. Training videos available in REDCap (produced by Vanderbilt) combined with self-teaching.
  2. Additional training manuals and resources at https://cri.uchicago.edu/redcap-training/.
  3. Occasional REDCap seminars offered by the Center for Research Informatics (CRI).


Technical Support

If you have more involved questions on designing your project or are not sure if REDCap is right for your study, the CRI’s REDCap Administrator redcap@uchicago.edu will schedule a zoom call with you.

If you need technical help with any of REDCap’s features, please contact the REDCap Administrator and they can direct you to REDCap Support.


Project Modes

All new databases are created by default in Development Mode. When in Development Mode the user should not enter any identified patient information. For testing purposes, use synthetic or fictional data. The CRI REDCap Administrator will periodically review contents of all projects in Development Mode to ensure compliance and move Development Mode projects, which appear to be collecting real data, into Production Mode. Users should move their projects to Production Mode prior to entering real data. Upon submitting a request to move a project to Production, the study team must agree to the terms and conditions outlined in the REDCap User Agreement and must provide a valid institutional IRB number, if applicable. After review and approval, the CRI REDCap Administrator will move the project to Production Mode and the study team will be able to collect real data.


REDCap’s Individual User Agreement

Prior to Accessing REDCap resources, users will be required to electronically agree to the following:
REDCap Use Agreement - Security, confidentiality, and protecting the University of Chicago’s reputation are a matter of concern for all individuals who have access to the University of Chicago’s REDCap application. Individuals conducting research and surveys on behalf of the University of Chicago must recognize the responsibilities entrusted in them for preserving the security and integrity of data and data capture systems and tools. Therefore, individuals authorized to use REDCap on behalf of the University of Chicago must read and comply with the terms of this agreement.

  1. I agree to safeguard my data in compliance with BSD and HIPAA policies.
  2. I agree to encrypt all identified data downloaded from REDCap according to BSD encryption policies.
  3. I agree to safeguard my Username and Password, and I agree not to make them available to any other person.
  4. I agree not to display my password in public view. I agree to keep written passwords in a safe place. I agree to encrypt electronically stored passwords.
  5. I agree to grant access to my data only to appropriately authorized individuals.
  6. I agree to remove or expire any of my project’s users who should no longer have access to my data.
  7. I have gained the necessary approvals for this study and/or survey from the appropriate individuals/committees/groups.
  8. I have made the appropriate individuals/committees/groups aware of the use of this tool.
  9. I affirm that if this is a human subjects research project that it has been approved by the IRB.
  10. I affirm that I have completed all necessary Human Studies and HIPAA training.
  11. I agree that any publication that results from a project utilizing REDCap will cite grant support from NIH CTSA UL1 TR002389​.
  12. I agree use the software for data capture needs of the University of Chicago, and not for the needs of independent third parties, neither for commercial or profit-oriented purposes.

The Biological Science Division (BSD) Policies refer to the University of Chicago’s ITS Acceptable Use Policy

HIPAA Policies are found here: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule (45CFR Parts 160 and 164)


Publication Acknowledgement & Citation


Any publications resulting from the user of REDCap to collect and manage data should include the following CTSA acknowledgement:

The REDCap project at the University of Chicago is hosted and managed by the Center for Research Informatics and was funded by the Biological Sciences Division and by the Institute for Translational Medicine, CTSA grant number UL1 TR002389 from the National Institutes of Health.



Any publications resulting from the user of REDCap to collect and manage data should include the following REDCap citation:

Paul A. Harris, Robert Taylor, Robert Thielke, Jonathon Payne, Nathaniel Gonzalez, Jose G. Conde, Research electronic data capture (REDCap) – A metadata-driven methodology and workflow process for providing translational research informatics support, J Biomed Inform. 2009 Apr; 42(2): 377-81.