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Why REDCap?

REDCap is a user friendly, cost-effective, and secure way to capture and manage research study data. It is not open source or freeware, and it cannot be downloaded by individuals. All survey owners require two factor authentication to gain access to their individual surveys. Survey owners cannot see other surveys for which they have no permission, and they have no access to anyone else’s data. A limited number of system administrators have wider access, but their activities are highly regulated and documented.

The physical infrastructure for the University of Toronto’s REDCap instance is completely maintained within the University’s highly secure, limited-access Data Centre. All collected data is kept on premises while it exists within the REDCap instance. Each survey owner is responsible for their own data management plan, should they wish to extract the data for analysis or storage purposes if they are using other systems for that analysis and/or long-term storage.

Users must be part of an institution that is part of the REDCap Consortium. It includes the following features:

  • Research-centric design
  • Secure capture and storage of sensitive or confidential information
  • Centralized online access
  • Online data entry:
    • While logged into REDCap (databases)
    • While not logged into REDCap (surveys)
  • Built-in tools for managing data collection
  • Data is downloadable in spreadsheet format for analysis in R, SPSS, STATA, SAS, Microsoft Excel, etc.

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U of T REDCap Team Selected as Finalists for National Award

June 22, 2022

The REDCap Operations team has been selected as a Finalist for a National Collaboration Award from the Canadian University Council of Chief Information Officers (CUCCIO).

REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is an extremely robust and secure data-collection enterprise service for building and managing online surveys and databases. While REDCap can be used to collect virtually any type of data, it is specifically geared to support online or offline data capture for research studies and operations.

REDCap is made available to the University of Toronto research community at no cost to researchers in a partnership between Information Technology Services (ITS), the Centre for Research & Innovation Support (CRIS) and the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KPE), sponsored by the Division of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

Five years ago, ITS conducted an environmental scan of what data collection tools were being used by researchers at the University and determined that there was a large amount of individual spending at the researcher and departmental level, and that an enterprise service would both increase our ability to support researchers while saving money.

Collaborating very closely with KPE and CRIS, an interdisciplinary team from ITS developed and implemented an enterprise REDCap service, which has been very successful (with over 1,300 researchers in just a few years). This includes staff from Academic Technology, Information Security, and Enterprise Infrastructure. 

But beyond “just” launching and managing a successful new service, this team was nominated for the CUCCIO awards because of the process that was used. Specifically, for the first time at the University, an enterprise service was created AND IS MANAGED in a FULLY COOPERATIVE venture with a division (KPE) and another shared division (CRIS/VPRI). 

This isn’t just an enterprise service that is endorsed by other units, and we aren’t talking about a service where divisional participation is just in an advisory capacity. In this unique and highly successful case, the ITS team put together a joint OPERATIONAL team, with full participation of our partners down to the micro-operational level. 

Those who operate enterprise services are often removed from the clients by the nature of the organizational structure of the University. By adopting this innovative collaborative model, ITS staff draw on and share in the expertise of divisional colleagues, and also provide divisional colleagues with more insight into centrally run services. As a result, the ITS team can be more closely and directly aligned with the needs of the researchers, and also be fully aligned with underlying research policies and protocols of the University. This process is unique and can serve as a future model, and for that reason it is being nominated for a CUCCIO award.

Team Members from ITS:
Jeremy Graham, REDCap Team Lead
Robin Wilcoxen
Alex Nishri
Joseph Lam
Sue McGlashan
Jae Chung
Tim Zheng
Amar Dholakia
Vince Borghese
YongJoo Lee
Bryan Ekeh (formerly ITS, now VPRI)

From KPE:
Aaron Lane
Ryan Lyn

From CRIS:
Prisca Obierefu

Service Oversight Leadership:
Vinita Haroun, Director, CRIS
Avi Hyman, Director, ACT – ITS
Paul Morrison, Director of IT, KPE
Patrick Hopewell, Director, EIS – ITS

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