At a Glance...

Key Features

  • Free, web-based, and user-friendly electronic data capture tools (EDC) for research studies
  • Databases can be quickly developed and customized for studies’ needs

Useful for

  • Collecting and tracking information and data from research studies
  • Scheduling study events (e.g., patient visits)
  • Conducting surveys

Available to

  • Nova Scotia Health Authority affiliated investigators and research staff
  • All others should contact their respective Institutions

Note: Please read the REDCap Terms of Service before applying for a REDCap account.

REDCap Project Initiation Form

REDCap Login Page

REDCap eConsent Training Guide



REDCap is a free, secure, web-based application designed to support data capture for research studies. The system was developed by a multi-institutional consortium initiated at Vanderbilt University. It is a new tool available to Nova Scotia Health affiliated researchers for building online surveys and databases.

REDCap features include:
  • a web based platform to efficiently create user friendly, online data collection instruments
  • the ability to design data collection instruments for simple and complex data models (one-to-one and one-to-many relationships)
  • the ability to create and manage online surveys; both public and participant specific
  • validated data entry mechanisms (e.g., data types, range checks) 
  • audit trails which track ‘who/what/when’ in regards to data entry and export procedures
  • the ability to schedule and track critical study events through a calendar feature (e.g., blood draws, participant visits, etc.) 
  • export procedures for seamless data downloads to common statistical software packages


REDCap Data Management and Survey Tool

REDCap offers a stream-lined process for rapidly developing projects that allows users to create and design databases and surveys using:

  • Online Designer and/or
  • Offline Method of constructing a “data dictionary” file in Microsoft Excel and uploading it to REDCap

It also allows for the collection of anonymous responses or track and identify responses from survey participants by:

  • Sending a link to your survey via e-mail
  • Entering data manually, and/or
  • Posting a link on your website

For more information, visit:

Advantages of REDCap:

  • Secure and web-based. Input data from anywhere in the world with secure web authentication, data logging, and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption.
  • Fast and flexible. Conception to production-level database in less than one day.
  • Multi-site access. Projects can be used by researchers from multiple sites and institutions.
  • Fully customizable. You are in total control of shaping your database or survey.
  • Advanced question features. Auto-validation, branching logic, and stop actions.
  • Mid-study modifications. You may modify the database or survey at any time during the study.
  • Data import functions. Data may be imported from external data sources to begin a study or to provide mid-study data uploads.
  • Data comparison functions. Double data entry / Blinded data entry.
  • Export survey results to common data analysis packages. Export your data to Microsoft Excel, SAS, STATA, R, or SPSS for analysis.
  • Save your survey or forms as PDFs. Generate a PDF version for printing in order to collect responses offline.

Other Things to know about NSHA REDCap

  • Data is stored locally on secure Nova Scotia Health servers
  • Projects can be used by researchers from multiple sites and institutions
  • It takes time to learn how to use REDCap
  • REDCap is a powerful tool but may not meet your entire database and data management needs. It is important to understand the capabilities of REDCap before investing the resources to establish the project.
  • Utilize the video/training resources provided by REDCap:
  • REDCap is updated regularly, so functions may change

REDCap Creation Process

  • Secure approval for your study from the NSHA Ethics Review Board
  • Complete the REDCap Project Initiation Form, available here:
  • After receiving your form, RMU consultants will create the user account for REDCap; create the project and give you access. If the project already exists, you will be given access.
  • You will then receive an e-mail with information how to log on to your REDCap site. In the “My Projects” folder, you will see a list of projects to which you have access.

Please note: If you are collecting personal health information for your study, you may require a Privacy Impact Assessment. The Nova Scotia Health Privacy Office will assess whether this is needed for your particular study.  This process is independent from the Research Ethics Board Review, and needs to be completed before access to REDCap can be granted. We encourage you to contact the Nova Scotia Health Privacy Office early, so that there is little or no delay in establishing a REDCap account for your study. Contact the Nova Scotia Health Privacy Office at

Once you have been given access to REDCap, the following are simple steps to get started with your project:


View documents, user guides, and tutorials provided by REDCap


Define data variables and their properties (i.e. text boxes, drop down menus, radio buttons, etc.)


Preview your project content, add study member permissions, and test functionality


Revise your REDCap database as needed


Launch your project into production to start collecting project data

Frequently Asked Questions

How much training is required to use and design EDC tools on REDCap?

Minimal training is needed to begin using REDCap. Development support is available in the form of online tutorials and videos: User guides provide step-by-step instruction for the most commonly used features of REDCap. Where applicable, various sections of the guide contain screenshots and instructional videos. Please note that both user guides will be continually updated and expanded.

How much experience with programming, networking and/or database construction is required to use and design EDC tools in REDCap?

No programming, networking, or database experience is needed to use REDCap. Simple design interfaces within REDCap handle all of these details automatically. Simply point and click to design your EDC tool(s).

How do I access the collected data for advanced analysis at various points during the study?

Data from your study can be easily exported into Microsoft Excel and analysis packages such as SPSS, SAS, R, and STATA.

Can I still maintain a paper trail for my study, even if I use REDCap?

All surveys and forms can be downloaded as a universal PDF file to be printed and filed.

What if I do need help with building a REDCap database?

If you are unable to build a REDCap database by yourself, the Research Methods Unit (RMU) can provide assistance on a fee-for-service basis. Please contact the RMU for specific assistance.


REDCap Administrator


Phone: 473-2949 (general inquiries)