Latest REDCap Update Introduces Several New Features

Latest REDCap Update Introduces Several New Features

The REDCap update, which took place on January 23rd, added several new features.

Signature field type

This new field type allows a person to draw their signature on a survey or data entry form using a mouse, pen, or finger (depending on whether using a desktop computer or mobile device). Once captured, the signature will be displayed as an inline image on the survey page or data entry form. While this option appears as a “Signature” field type in the Online Designer, it is specified in the Data Dictionary as a “file” type field with validation type of “signature”. Thus, it is essentially a special type of File Upload field. Note: The signature image for Signature fields cannot be imported via the API, although they can be downloaded or deleted via the API using the “Export a File” and “Delete a File” API methods, respectively.

Survey Invitation Reminders

In addition to sending or scheduling survey invitations, users may now set reminders for a given invitation to help remind respondents that they need to complete a survey if it has not been completed by a specified time. A single reminder may be sent at an exact date/time, or a user may schedule up to 5 reminders to be sent according to a set time schedule, such as a recurring time lapse (e.g. every 12 hours after the original invitation) or on a recurring day/time (e.g., every day at 10:00AM after the original invitation; every Monday at 4:00PM). If the survey is completed, then any unsent reminders will be erased and will not be sent. Survey invitation reminders can be set in the Compose Survey Invitations popup on the Participant List page, as well as in the Automated Survey Invitations popup on the Online Designer.

Survey Confirmation Emails

On the Survey Settings page in the Online Designer, a survey administrator can now set up an email that will automatically be sent to the respondent when they complete the survey. They may optionally add one attachment to the email, if they wish. Also, piping can be used in the email’s subject and message to help personalize the email. If the respondent’s email address is not on file and thus the confirmation email cannot be sent automatically, then when displaying the survey acknowledgement text at the end of survey, it will display an option for the respondent to enter their email address so that they may receive the confirmation email.


When performing a data import (via Data Import Tool or API), REDCap will now perform the calculations for any calculated fields that are triggered by the values being imported. For example, if you have a BMI field whose calculation is based off of a height field and a weight field, then if you perform a data import of height and weight values, it will automatically calculate the BMI for each record that is imported and also save those calculations (and thus log them too on the Logging page). Auto-calculations are now also triggered when using cross-form calculations in the case where the calculated field exists on a different instrument than the fields being entered that are used in the calculation. So while in previous versions users would have to go to the instrument where the calculated field existed and would have to click Save to store the calculation, users now no longer have to do that because the calculation is performed and saved automatically at the time when the trigger fields are initially entered or changed. So essentially, users never have to worry that calculations are not being performed or saved in certain situations. They should expect that calculations are now always being saved silently in the background.

Fix incorrect values for calculated fields with the new data quality rule

New data quality rule to fix all incorrect values for calculated fields – New Data Quality rule (rule H) will help users find and fix all incorrect values for calculated fields in a project. If any calc fields have ended up with incorrect values (whether due to field changes in the project or due to previous data imports), users can now run rule H not only to find any incorrect calculated values, but it will additionally display a button that, when clicked, will auto-fix ALL of them for the user. This is very powerful, and we have made it as easy as the single click of a button to fix all calculations in an entire project.

Filter Data Quality Rules by a Specific Record

In the Data Quality module, users can now choose to execute a data quality rule for only a specific record in the project (rather than for all records) by selecting the record from a drop-down list.

Reuse choice options

In the Add/Edit Field popup on the Online Designer page, there is a new “Choose existing choices” link for multiple choice fields that will display a popup containing the options of all other multiple choice fields in the project to allow the user to quickly choose one set of options to use for a new field. This can make the process of creating fields quicker if there happen to be several fields that will have the same multiple choice options.

Hide Required Text

The red Required field text (i.e., “*must provide value”) can now be hidden on survey pages, if desired. So if you would rather your respondents not see that red text beneath all your required fields on the survey page, then you may use this setting to hide it. This setting can be found on the Survey Settings page in the Online Designer.

Disable the Previous Page Button

The “Previous Page” button (i.e. Back button) on multi-page surveys can now be hidden, if desired. Hiding this button may be useful if you wish to prevent respondents from going back to previous pages in the survey. The setting to enable this can be found on the Survey Settings page in the Online Designer.