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This is an introductory guide to the exciting world of the electronic data capture program known as REDCap.


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Ann Dyer
Health Sciences Librarian
& Interim Director
WSU Health Sciences Library
Spokane Academic Center
(509) 368-6991

Quick Tips

  • The “Field Label” is the displayed text label on the screen. The “Variable Name” is the raw coded numerical value in the database.
  • Variable Names may only be lowercase letters, numbers, or underscores.
  • When you copy a field in the Online Designer, be sure to change the default variable name.
  • Tag all identifying information fields (e.g., name, SSN, address) as “identifier” fields.
  • Required fields and ranges will only issue warnings. They are not hard requirements.
  • Text boxes and notes boxes both hold an unlimited amount of text. The only difference is the size of the input box on the screen.
  • The only difference between a dropdown field and a radio button field is how they appear on the screen.
  • Use checkboxes for questions where more than one answer can be selected. Do not use checkboxes for Yes/No questions, etc.
  • Each time you add branching logic, test the logic in the data entry form before adding branching logic to additional fields.
  • REDCap supports the following HTML tags inside when designing “Field Labels”

"Quick Tips" care of University of Chicago's Center for Research Informatics.

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