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Software Description

Software Description: REDCap is a web-based survey and database tool.

Platform: This server based software is accessed via the Internet.
Cost: No charge for current VCU and VCU Health System faculty, staff, sponsored students, and sponsored affiliates.


The Center for Clinical and Translational Research, VCU Technology Services and VCU Health Systems have collaborated to make REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) available to the VCU community.  REDCap is an easy to use, secure web application for building and managing online surveys and databases.  REDCap is ideal for collecting and storing data for projects ranging from simple online surveys to longitudinal event-driven research studies.  For a more complete description, please visit the Project REDCap web site.

Two videos provide an overview of using the REDCap system:

VCU REDCap was upgraded to REDCap 5 on 4/24/2013.  Three videos for working with surveys in REDCap 5:

Off campus access to REDCap requires using the VCU VPN.

VCU units who use REDCap are expected to designate a REDCap Liaison to provide local support in each area (see below).

 Account Request

Prior to logging into REDCap, you MUST obtain an account.  There is no charge for accounts. 

To obtain VCU REDCap Accounts:

  • Current VCU and VCU Medical Center faculty/staff must visit Request an account.  When prompted, provide your VCU eID and password.
  • VCU students must have a current VCU faculty/staff member sponsor (create) their account by visiting Request an account.
  • For collaborators who are not VCU employees (e.g. for multi-site studies), two actions are required:
    • First, a VCU HR representative must create a VCU eID for them as a VCU affiliate.  For details, see the VCU Affiliate User Guide.   Note that affiliate status expires each June 30.  It must be renewed each year in order to ensure access remains for those still affiliated with the University.
    • Then, a current VCU faculty/staff must sponsor (create) the affiliate's REDCap account by visiting Request an account.

After your account has been created, login using your VCU eID and eID password.

 Logging In (after you have an account):

Maintenance Windows

To ensure REDCap is patched for the latest security patches, IF there is routine system maintenance to be performed, REDCap may be unavailable at these times:

  1. Second Wednesday of the month at 6 am - REDCap application patching/upgrade
  2. First Friday of the month at 6am - Operating system patching for web server
  3. Third Friday of the month at 6am - Database patching 
  4. Fourth Friday of the month at 6am -  Operating system patching for database server


REDCap software is licensed through the REDCap Consortium.  VCU has become a member of the REDCap Consortium.  The REDCap Consortium is comprised of  institutional partners representing Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) institutions,  Clinical Research Centers,  Research Center in Minority Institutions (RCMI), among other research oriented facilities around the world. REDCap software is available at no charge to Consortium Partners. 

REDCap software hosted at VCU may only be used for University or VCUHS research or operational support. 


It is the user's responsibility to comply with all VCU policies and guidelines.  If you are collecting data for the purposes of human subjects research, review and approval of the project is required by the your Institutional Review Board.

Using REDCap

Because REDCap may house sensitive data, it is required that all users complete a very brief online form to request a new REDCap project. After approval, the new project will be created.

REDCap consists of two types of data collection functionality available in one system:   

  •  The survey component is a powerful tool for building and managing online surveys. You can create and design surveys in your web browser and engage potential respondents using a variety of notification methods. Participant responses may be easily exported to Microsoft Excel or to common statistical analysis packages (SPSS, SAS, R, Stata). REDCap surveys allow for a variety of question types, such as Text Boxes, Multiple Choice (single and multiple answer), File Uploads, Yes/No, True/False, and Sliders (Rating Scales).  There are also advanced question features that may be utilized, such as auto-validation, branching logic, piping, and stop actions.  Longitudinal survey capability was added in REDCap 5.  
  • The database component is a secure, web-based application designed to support data capture.  It provides: 1) an intuitive interface for data entry (with data validation); 2) audit trails for tracking data manipulation and export procedures; 3) automated export procedures for data downloads to Excel, SPSS, SAS, Stata, and R; 4) procedures for importing data from external sources; 5) advanced features, such as branching logic and calculated fields.  You and your team have complete autonomy of your project regarding initial design and mid-project modifications, user access and permissions, and generation of custom reports.

REDCap 5 has only 1 type of project.  This is a change from previous versions of REDCap. When creating a new project in REDCap 5, you have the option to create an empty project or use a pre-existing project template, such as a single survey, multiple surveys, database, etc.  A REDCap 5  project may contain multiple surveys and/or data collection forms.

You can download and upload a survey's "data dictionary."  This text file (.csv) is viewable in MS Excel and contains a complete description of the survey questions (question texts, answer texts, branching logic, etc.).  This file can be very handy in certain situations.  For example, if you need to create a second block of questions similar to those already in the survey, you can edit this file in Excel and use copy/paste to create the new questions (and modify them as needed), then upload this augmented data dictionary to REDCap to replace the original questions in your survey.

Training and Learning Resources  

The VCU REDCap Team and the REDCap Consortium have developed a host of learning resources for  REDCap.  Support is also available here at VCU:

 Getting Help

Several are means available for obtaining assistance with accessing and using REDCap:

REDCap Liaisons

Current Liaisons and the departments/areas they support.

While the use of REDCap is free to members of the VCU community, each organizational entity (e.g. school, department, center, institute, etc.) is expected to designate a REDCap liaison (or liaisons), who shall function as the primary point-of-contact for REDCap related support for users in that organization.  REDCap users in organizations with liaisons will, therefore, have more readily available user support.  Liaisons must be current VCU faculty/staff.

REDCap Liaison - Primary Responsibilities

The REDCap liaisons should become familiar with the REDCap component(s) that they are supporting (see next section), so that they may provide user support to those developing REDCap projects within their organization.  REDCap software is very intuitive and does not require sophisticated technical expertise to design and develop custom database or survey tools.  REDCap liaisons need not be IT (information technology) personnel; however, liaisons should have strong computer skills.  Liaisons may contact the VCU REDCap Team directly to request technical assistance with problems beyond their expertise.

REDCap Liaison -  Signup

There are two ways to sign up to become a REDCap liaison.  When you request a new REDCap account, you will be able to also sign up as a liaison.  You may also email the VCU REDCap Team.

 Requirements for Storing McGuire VAMC Data on VCU REDCap

  • Protocol approved by the Richmond IRB and R&D committees.
  • De-identified data is allowed.
  • Sensitive data requires a patient signed HIPAA authorization stating that the data will be stored/shared with VCU.
  • Limited data sets:
    • If there is a signed HIPAA authorization, it is permitted.
    • If there is not a HIPAA authorization, please contact Charlene Davis, Richmond VA ISO

To Login from McGuire VAMC

 Mailing Lists

All users who obtain access to REDCap will be automatically subscribed to the REDCAP-L mailing list.  This mailing list is local to VCU and are intended to foster communication among the REDCap users at VCU.  Members may post messages to the list if they have questions, answers, or suggestions about using the REDCap system.  Posted messages will be emailed to all subscribers of the list.

As noted, all account holders are automatically subscribed to these lists (subscriptions are limited to account holders, only).  To un-subscribe from this list:

Un-subscribe from REDCAP-L

 For More Information

Please email inquires to the VCU REDCap Team.