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REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a HIPAA-compliant, secure web application for building and managing online surveys and data collection instruments, provided without charge to the UCSF community and its collaborators. REDCap was originally developed at Vanderbilt University, with grant support from the National Center for Research Resources, to provide research teams with an intuitive and reusable tool for collecting, storing, and sharing data. 

  • REDCap Free: Self-service data platform with user-created custom databases, data capture, surveys, and robust integrations. Approved for electronic consent, but not Part 11 compliant.
  • REDCap Premium: Managed platform with additional access control. Electronic consent Part 11 compliant; full platform validation planned.  
  • REDCap Cloud: Third-party system with MyAccess integration. Fully Part 11 compliant, but costly and projects may require professional services.  

What's the difference?



  • Data capture system available to all UCSF (students, faculty, and staff) and external collaborators
  • Substantial workflow control; integration rich
  • Email, text messaging, interactive texting
  • Has been used across broad spectrum of use cases from HR to clinical
  • Fully UCSF supported

REDCap Premium


  • Extra levels of access control (UCSF logins only)
  • Electronic consent Part 11 compliant
  • Consent flows are in-line with data collection workflows
  • Full 21CFR11 compliance effort in early stages
  • Fully UCSF supported, but recharge model under development

REDCap Cloud


  • Fully 21CFR11 compliant
  • Cumbersome user interface
  • MyAccess integrated
  • UCSF Level 1 support only
  • RCC professional services for level 2+

With minimal training, users can design, create and deploy projects in less than one day. Users can create surveys and data collection instruments or a combination of the two using 1) the Online Designer – an online point-and-click method from your web browser, and/or 2) the offline method by constructing a 'data dictionary' template file in Microsoft Excel which can later be uploaded into REDCap.

In addition to fast and flexible project development, REDCap free & premium features include:

  • Advanced field types and features, such as auto-validation, calculated fields, file uploading, branching/skip logic, and survey stop actions.
  • Participant management module. Easily manage a contact list of survey respondents or create a simple survey link. Build a list of email contacts, create custom email invitations, and track respondents, or user may also create a single survey link to email out or post on a website.
  • Scheduling module tool to generate record-specific schedules based on a series of events or time points.
  • Data access groups for multi-site projects. Any user in a Data Access Group may only access their group's records. Each group is blinded to all other data/records.
  • Randomization module allows users to define a randomization model within their project in order to randomize study participants.
  • Data query management system including data resolution workflow to document data query resolutions and ad hoc reporting tools to create custom queries and reports.
  • Automated export procedures for seamless data downloads to Excel and common statistical packages (SPSS, SAS, Stata, R).
  • REDCap mobile app for iOS and Android. REDCap users can now collect their REDCap data in a mobile app on an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone or tablet. The REDCap Mobile App adds a new dimension to REDCap's versatility by providing users with a tool for offline data collection, particularly in environments with poor internet connectivity. The app cannot be used on its own but is a companion app that must be used alongside REDCap itself. Users must first have a REDCap account before utilizing the mobile app.
  • Text-to-Speech Functionality. When enabled, icons will be displayed next to all text on the survey page, and when clicked, the text will be read out loud to the participant.
  • Embedded videos or audio. Users can embed an externally hosted video (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo) on a data entry form or survey page by simply providing the video URL (web address). The video can be displayed inline on the page, or it can instead be initially hidden but displayed after clicking a button. Users can attach an audio file and display it in an embedded audio player on the data entry form or survey page.


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