Skip to Main Content

REDCap: Research Data Capture and Analysis System

REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a free, secure, web-based application designed to support data capture for research studies.


NOTE: Downstate has two survey systems — choose the right one for your needs:

RedCAP: for collecting research data especially Protected Health Information.

Qualtrics:  For general surveys such as customer service/satisfaction ratings or course evaluations.

The REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) system is a secure open-source web-based system for collecting, storing and doing preliminary analysis on research data. Originally developed at Vanderbilt University, It is an open-source product used at more than 1,600 institutions in almost 100 countries around the world.

  • REDCap is HIPAA compliant and can be used for collecting clinical patient care/PHI.
  • Test and build a series of data collection surveys/forms
  • Distribute the surveys as links or via email
  • Use them to enter data (either here at Downstate or by your research partners at other institutions).
  • Use the system to follow up on selected patients.
  • Export de-identified data (for HIPAA compliance) or full data sets and analyze on other systems.

The system is secure and is easy to use and learn via online videos and workshops or one-on-one training here on campus. 

Who should use RedCAP?

  • Investigators who have obtained an IRB Approval Letter for human research activities, including exempt determinations.
  • Other researchers conducting non-human research activities.  It is recommended that you obtain an IRB Determination Letter for non-human research activities.

For general surveys that do not include Protected Health Information such as  customer service/rating or course evaluations, we recommend using the Qualtrics survey system instead of RedCAP.

Read the Following Before You Begin:

DRAFT VS PRODUCTION MODE:  You will design /test your survey forms in Draft mode, then request approval to move into Production mode to collect real data once testing is completed. Do not collect actual research data in Draft mode. Researchers are required to upload their IRB approval/exemption letter to the File Repository on the left side menu of their RedCAP project before requesting approval to switch to Production mode. Users who are unsure whether they need an IRB exemption letter should consult with the IRB prior to starting use of RedCAP.

Users are responsible for creating and maintaining their projects. Training videos are available online via the RedCAP login/home page. In addition, staff in the Academic Computing and Technology (ACT) Office can help you get started. Use the "REQUEST A TRAINING SESSION" button at to schedule an online live training session.

How do I log in?

  • Account creation is 'self-service' for all current residents, students and faculty.
  • Log in at with your NetID username/password.
  • Fill out the form, entering your Downstate email in the EMAIL ADDRESS field. 
  • Upon completion, a link will be sent to your Downstate email address. 
  • Click the link to confirm identity and you can begin using RedCAP! 
  • Want to join an existing project, you must ask the project owners to add your new account to their project.

Watch the how-to videos on the REDCap pages.  If you still need assistance, click on the "Schedule a Training Session" on the ACT Office home page:

REMEMBER: you will be required to upload a copy of your IRB approval/exemption letter to your project's File Repository in order to begin collecting actual data in Production mode. If you will be collaborating with outside researchers, you/they may need to sign a Data Usage Agreement (DUA)

Return to Get Help