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Using REDCap

How to use REDCap for collecting clinical data.

Data Import Tool

To import existing data into REDCap, you can use the Data Import Tool.

First, click on the Data Import Tool link located on the left-side menu.


This will take you to the Data Import Tool page. You can find instructions on the page on how to use this tool, and the first step is to download the Import Template via one of the two links on the page. The only difference between the links is the layout, with records as rows or columns


After downloading the template, you can open it in a program like Excel or LibreOffice and it will appear like a spreadsheet and depending on your choice of template, each field in your project's instruments will appear as a column or row. If you choose the records in row option each row will correspond to a record in the project. You need to full out this template with the data you want uploaded into REDCap. The data you want to upload needs to match with the correct field in your REDCap project, each column will have the variable name for a single field in the top row. Here's some tips to keep in mind (instructions will assume you are using the records in rows option):


1. You can add new records to your project by putting a new value in the Record_ID field (or however you have named it). This field will be the leftmost one on the spreadsheet. You can add or overwrite data for existing records by putting the correct record id value in this column. Double-check your record ids before doing this, as data that is overwritten will not be retrivable.


2. Don’t change the variable names on the template. They must match the project's variable names.


3. For all 'dropdown' or 'radio' or ‘checkbox’ fields, upload the numerical value (rather than the text value).


4. Empty rows or columns can be deleted before importing the file to reduce the upload processing time.


5. You can import a few variables at a time. The entire template doesn’t need to be imported all at once.


Once you have the template filled out, go to the Data Import Tool page in your project and scroll to the bottom of the page. There are settings for how your spreadsheet is formatted, check to make sure they are correct and then click the Browse button and find the template spreadsheet file, select it, and click Upload File. The system will process the spreadsheet and create a table for you to review, as seen below. Any data that will be overwritten will be in red text, so double-check that you are only overwritting data inteniontally. Errors in the template (like incorrect values) will be in red, and any warnings for issues will be in orange. Follow the instructions and correct an errors listed in your data on the template. Once there are no errors you will be able to finish the import.