REDCap research software now available at Elon

REDCap is used by more than 5,500 research institutions for all-in-one data collection and security, project management and collaboration.

A powerful research tool for securing data, streamlining projects and strengthening outcomes of faculty research arrived on campus this fall.

Research Electronic Data Capture, or REDCap, is a secure web application that supports data collection and research project management. REDCap is used by more than 5,500 institutions around the world and has powered 1.3 million research projects since its 2004 founding at Vanderbilt University.

REDCap is used by many R1 institutions due to its robust ability to manage data, user-friendly interface and project-management capabilities.

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science Simon Higgins
Assistant Professor of Exercise Science Simon Higgins

“At Elon, faculty usually have to use several programs to collect and store research data. REDCap combines it all into one secure environment and solves a lot of our data entry and security concerns,” said Assistant Professor of Exercise Science Simon Higgins, Elon’s faculty administrator of the program. “It’s such powerful software.”

REDCap provides access to validated surveys, validates data entry to ensure accurate data collection, automates participant communication and scheduling, and facilitates collaboration among researchers and institutions. Its open-source software means that extensions and functions created by highly qualified researchers for their own projects are available to all REDCap users.

It’s especially useful in protecting the privacy and confidential information of research participants. Principal investigators can control access to each aspect of their project by setting partner and student permissions individually.

Higgins became aware of REDCap while preparing for a large study assessing first-year college students’ risks for developing cardiovascular disease in collaboration with researchers at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Faculty at those campuses use REDCap to manage research. Earlier this fall, the National Institutes of Health awarded Higgins a three-year, $388,000 R15 grant to conduct that study, which will track 150 high school seniors through their first year of college and measure markers of their physical health and track behaviors to assess risks of metabolic syndrome.

Higgins spent the summer working with Elon’s information technology staff and the provost’s office to implement the software and a server dedicated to housing its data securely.

REDCap is available to all Elon faculty and graduate students. Those interested in using it for their projects should contact Higgins at

“I want to see as many at Elon use it as need it,” he said.

More information, including links to video tutorials, is available on the Department of Exercise Science website.