I want to use REDCap, but I don’t know where to start. What should I do?
Please first review the Partners page to see if there’s a REDCap system already available to you.
If your organization is not listed there, or if you are unable to use your organization’s existing system(s), then please explore the three options below.
1. Non-profit organizations can join the global REDCap consortium. This allows the non-profit organization to install/administer REDCap on their local servers, to use for work based at the organization. To learn more, please review the technical infrastructure needed to support REDCap. Each partner site is independently responsible for software installation, maintenance, and user support. Coordinate with your organization’s IT department and ensure they are willing and able to support a REDCap system for your organization. Next, refer to the licensure page to learn about joining the consortium and to find the End-User License Agreement. Coordinate with your organization’s leadership about this step. Please also review the section LICENSING & THE CONSORTIUM on this page for answers to common questions about this option.
2. REDCap Cloud (https://www.redcapcloud.com/) is a third-party company which offers fee-based hosting in their custom version of REDCap. Commercially-sponsored research studies being led by a for-profit organization and which need a system maintained in compliance with 21 CFR Part 11 (often required for FDA-type studies) should explore REDCap Cloud. Their company is separate to our licensing and the REDCap consortium. NOTE: Commercially-sponsored research studies being led by a non-profit organization are also eligible for this option, if they prefer not to join the consortium and self-host.
3. Vanderbilt’s own REDCap system (redcap.vanderbilt.edu) can be used for a monthly fee. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about this alternative. This involves a contract between Vanderbilt and your home organization – not you as an individual. (REDCap is not available for individual, personal use.)
How can I schedule a call or demonstration with your team?
Our team is unable to provide demonstrations, phone support, personalized consultations, or teleconferences.
Questions should be directed to our central help desk email account email@example.com. Our entire team monitors it, so we can route messages as needed and get you the fastest replies.
Please be mindful that this projectredcap.org website has nearly all publicly-available information about the standard software, including demonstration projects and a free trial account. Those are a great way to evaluate REDCap.
My organization is in the consortium, but I don’t know the people listed on your site. They are in a different department than me. How can I use REDCap?
Being affiliated with an existing partner site means that there are probably installations of REDCap available to you. You are very likely able to use one of those for your work, despite how specifically the system may be titled on our website.
We suggest contacting each of the teams listed for your organization, to determine which system(s) you are eligible to use. One of those teams can then create your account and get you started using that REDCap system for your work.
I work at a business, company, or other for-profit organization. How can I use REDCap?
Licenses are ONLY issued to non-profit organizations having sufficient internal IT infrastructure to self-host. It is NOT permissible for a business, company, or other for-profit organization to hold a license or self-host. Please review the first FAQ on this page to learn about how to use REDCap Cloud or how to use Vanderbilt’s own REDCap system for your work.
How can I use REDCap independently as an individual, not through my employer or home organization?
Unfortunately, we do not offer options for individual, personal use. The first section on this page describes the options to use REDCap. Both the licensing option and the use of Vanderbilt’s own REDCap system involve legal contracts held by your home organization, not you as an individual.
I’m a software developer who wants to build tools that can integrate with REDCap. Is there a developer license or other way for me to join the consortium?
There is no ‘developer partner’ license or other such process, and no way for you to install your own REDCap system. That is not feasible for such situations, under our license terms.
You are welcome to use the demo/trial system available on projectredcap.org to explore integration with your own tools. You can create your own projects and see if REDCap’s built-in features will facilitate integration with your products, out-of-the-box.
It is NOT permissible for an independent software developer to have their own REDCap license or system OR have access to a system’s backend or codebase. If that’s the level of access you truly need for integration, then it is NOT feasible to do so. Individuals and for-profit organizations cannot be given access to the codebase for any reason, including software development work.
Building an interface with a single system doesn’t guarantee it would be compatible with all branches/versions of REDCap. There is unfortunately no pathway through which such global integration is feasible. The REDCap consortium handles all software development internally, and each system is independently maintained and supported by individual consortium partner sites.
Is REDCap open source?
No. Using REDCap at your organization requires a license agreement between your non-profit institution and Vanderbilt. Your organization can extensively customize their REDCap system through built-in software development tools; this is sometimes called open architecture. But because the license is always required in order to gain codebase access, REDCap is not considered open source (and likely never will be).
Please be mindful that consortium partner sites access the source code only as part of their local system installation, maintenance, and support. Sites are not permitted to redistribute the source code.
Is REDCap HIPAA-compliant?
REDCap is definitely capable of compliance with just about any standard – for example, HIPAA, Part-11, and FISMA standards (low, moderate, or high). Each of those standards has been used across various consortium sites, as well as other standards (including similar international regulations, like GDPR).
REDCap is server software. Be mindful that no software alone is truly compliant with any standard. It is the environment into which software is installed that can be called compliant.
The ‘environment’ includes the policies and procedures of the individual study team(s) and folks maintaining the physical hardware on which data is stored. So ‘compliance’ involves how the software is installed, maintained, and supported – such things as what server settings are used by your institution, how servers are tested and maintained, how often data is backed up, how passwords are controlled, etc. Those decisions 1) do not involve (or get defined by) REDCap itself, and 2) are entirely up to every REDCap partner site to determine.
REDCap can very likely be implemented in compliance with your needs, whatever they may be. It’s up to your own organization to explore and implement their preferred standards. It is entirely in the control of each site’s IT staff and support team how to install REDCap into whatever environment they choose to pursue.
NOTE: If a system has the survey feature enabled, the default way survey webpages are displayed does comply with ADA Section 508. Project design may affect, or entirely negate, that default compliance though.
LICENSING & THE CONSORTIUM
How much does a license cost?
Nothing. As described on the licensure page, there is no cost or fee of any kind. The license, codebase, and all consortium support are all provided at no cost to any non-profit organization. It’s all completely and truly free.
What happens after I submit a license agreement? How long does the license review take?
It takes us a maximum of three weeks to process a license request, from the time of submission. It then takes us a maximum of two additional weeks to subsequently create accounts on the internal website where your organization’s IT staff can download REDCap and begin installation. So in general, we recommend planning for about one month between the time of license submission and the time your IT staff can begin installation.
Those are very conservative estimates; it usually takes much less time. We’re also happy to expedite our processing as much as possible. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request that, and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
After the agreement is finalized, your institution’s technical team will be granted access to internal installation and help resources. The timeline is then entirely up to them. They’ll install, test, and launch the system for your organization, and then support it and its users.
My organization is already in the consortium and has a REDCap system, but we want a new system to support a new department or other group of users. How do we do that?
Each REDCap system is separately licensed. So to get a new system at your organization, please first submit a new license.
The new license’s Institution Name should reflect the department, center, lab, or other subgroup within your organization that will use the new system, to distinguish it from any other licenses held by your organization. (Licenses using Institution Names which already exist may be misinterpreted as duplicates and may be denied.)
Our system administrator left our organization, and they didn’t transition their duties to someone else. How do we register a new administrator?
In most situations like this where a system or license has been ‘orphaned’, a new license is needed before we register a new administrator (e.g. before we create a Community account for them).
Onboarding a new administrator is usually done by the current, registered administrator (e.g. the person listed on the Partners page). If that transition didn’t happen and there are no active administrators at your organization to lead the onboarding internally, our licensing team usually requires a new license before registering a new administrator.
Issuing a new license allows us to register the new administrator and give them access to the REDCap consortium’s help resources. Those resources will help them onboard new administrators on their team. The resources also help them continue to maintain their current system (or help them begin installation from scratch, if the previous administrator hadn’t yet begun).
Please visit our Join page to learn more about submitting a license. And please indicate in the new license’s submission that it should replace the current listing on the Partners page. (Licenses using Institution Names which already exist may be misinterpreted as duplicates and may be denied.)
I have a question about the license terms. Who can I contact?
Please email our central help desk at email@example.com. We’ll be happy to clarify any license terms or explain how they apply to your particular situation.
I need to request a change or amendment to the license. How do I start that process?
Unfortunately, the electronic version of the license agreement cannot be modified or revised in any way. It is provided as-is, and we are unable to consider or accept any potential changes.
There is one, standardized, global REDCap license agreement, and it’s entirely paperless. This approach helps us minimize our own internal costs for software dissemination, allowing us to provide the software and consortium support at no financial charge to partner institutions.
How many systems can be installed under a single license?
One license corresponds to one live, production system.
The organization can additionally have sandbox, development, or test environments as needed; some IT departments take that approach.
But again, one license allows an organization to run a single live, production system, which can house as many projects as you wish. A single license corresponds to a single system which can then support the entire organization – tens of thousands of users and projects.
What does ‘joining the consortium’ actually mean? Are there requirements for participation?
Organizations are welcome to participate as much as they choose; there is no obligation to do so.
REDCap administrators can post on the internal Community platform, attend the weekly virtual teleconferences and annual in-person meetings, and participate in any other activities or committees they choose. But NONE of that is actually required.
After receiving the license, an organization can certainly download the software and have no further contact with us or the consortium. That’s not ideal for a variety of reasons, but it’s totally fine and entirely permissible.
There aren’t any obligations to stay involved in the consortium or contribute anything at all. To ‘join the consortium’ essentially just means that your organization receives a REDCap license and can download the software to install, test, and launch a system for your organization’s users.
Before we submit a license, our organization requires some internal documentation (e.g. vendor applications, security evaluations, business associates agreement ). Who can help with completing that?
We are unfortunately not able to complete such documentation. Joining the REDCap consortium is not the typical vendor experience. We are not a vendor.
We can provide the REDCap codebase to your IT department to install and launch on your local servers. Therefore, only your organization’s own IT team can address the questions commonly found in such documentation.
SYSTEM AND USER SUPPORT
I have a question about my REDCap project and/or user account. Can you help?
Each REDCap system is independently maintained and supported. Our staff oversee Vanderbilt’s primary REDCap system (redcap.vanderbilt.edu). We have no access to, familiarity with, or purview over the other thousands of REDCap systems worldwide.
We cannot address questions about your particular project or how to use its features. We also cannot help with account issues (e.g. password resets) or provide other information about your system (e.g. security and privacy documentation).
Please contact your own system’s support staff with any questions you have about your usage of REDCap through your own organization. You’ll find their contact details on the Partners page of projectredcap.org or in the Help & Information section of any project menu, if you aren’t already familiar with them.
I am a REDCap administrator for my institution. I have a question about my REDCap system. Can you help?
Please leverage the consortium’s help resources – namely, Community and the weekly consortium teleconferences. Extensive assistance is available to all system administrators (not end-users), through the consortium’s existing help resources. Vanderbilt staff participate heavily in these resources; in general, we are unable to provide personal consultations or direct help outside of them. (This is explicitly described in Section 2.3 of the REDCap License terms.)
How much ongoing technical support does a REDCap system require?
There are no definitive requirements for system support. Some sites have a single individual devoted to REDCap full time – handling all technical and nontechnical support. Others have large teams with separate individual duties. There is tremendous flexibility in how the system is supported.
If you are familiar with full-time equivalents (FTE), then we can provide some basic guidelines. We typically suggest 0.25 FTE for a system administrator during the first two months of installation and launch, then reducing to 0.1 FTE for patches, ongoing maintenance, etc. We also strongly recommend 0.5 FTE ongoing for a non-technical person who will support enterprise awareness + users (marketing, training sessions, daily user support).
Can we use an IT company for our technical support?
No. All IT support and infrastructure must be provided by your own organization’s internal IT department. This is a firm and explicit requirement in the license terms.
Contractors, IT companies, and other third parties are NOT allowed to help with installation, maintenance, or support. They also cannot access the REDCap codebase for any reason. To learn more, please review the Join & Get REDCap page.
If your organization cannot meet the IT requirements internally, then please do not submit a license. Instead, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to explore our data hosting services. This is the only alternative we offer to licensure and self-hosting.
How can I update our organization’s listing on the Partners page?
Please email our central help desk at email@example.com. Include the name of your organization as displayed on our website, as well as the requested changes.
Can my trial account be extended?
No. Unfortunately, trial accounts on the demo system cannot be extended. As described during registration, they last only one week (seven days from account creation). There is no version of an account that lasts longer.
You’re welcome to create a new trial account under a new email address if you wish to continue testing. (It must be a totally different email address to any you’ve already used.)