The Institute for Translational Sciences News

New REDCap v8.10.20 Features

Mar 23, 2020, 10:34 AM by Gilbert Mireles
With the introduction of REDCap v8, new features were introduced helping all REDCap users to be more productive with new survey features, repeating forms and more!

Below are some of the new features available:

New survey feature
You may now allow your survey participants to download a PDF of their responses after they have completed a survey. This is a great way to provide participants with an electronic copy of their survey responses. To enable this setting for a survey, you will find it halfway down the Survey Settings page in the Online Designer. If enabled, a download button will appear below the survey's acknowledgement text after the participant has completed the survey. For more details, see the Survey Settings page.

2 new save buttons
Two new save buttons have been added to data entry forms: 'Save & Exit Record' and 'Save & Go To Next Record'. The first will allow you to save a record and then quickly exit it so that you may choose another. The second will take you to the Record Home Page for the next record in the project after saving the current record ('next record' = the record that follows the current record as seen on the Record Status Dashboard).

Improved accessibility for surveys
Survey pages have now been improved in order to work better with assistive technology, such as screen readers. This will allow survey participants with visual impairments to take surveys much more easily.

Save & Return Later w/o Return Code
Surveys using the "Save & Return Later" feature may now allow respondents to return where they left off on their survey without having to provide a return code. This option adds a great convenience, and can be enabled on the Survey Settings page for any survey instrument. Note: For privacy reasons, it is HIGHLY recommended that you do not use this feature if you are administering a survey that collects identifying information (e.g., PII, PHI).

Survey-specific email invitation fields
A new feature has been added to the Survey Settings page in the Online Designer: survey-specific email invitation fields. This can be enabled for any given survey, in which you can designate any email field in your project to use for sending survey invitations for that particular survey. Thus, you can collect several email addresses (e.g., for a student, a parent, and a teacher) and utilize each email for a different survey in the project. Then you can send each person an invitation to their own survey, after which all the survey responses get stored as one single record in the project.

The survey-specific email field is similar to the project-level email invitation field except that it is employed only for the survey where it has been enabled. In this way, the survey-level email can override an existing email address originally entered into the Participant List or the project-level email field (if used). This new feature allows users to have data entry workflows that require multiple surveys where the participant is different for each survey. (Note: The email field can exist on any instrument in the project, and you may use a different email field on each survey. You may also use the same email field for multiple surveys.)

See the Survey Settings page in the Online Designer to enable this feature for any of your surveys.

Repeating Instruments
REDCap now has a feature to allow repeating instruments and events. This is very helpful if you have to collect multiple instances of the same data. This means that it is no longer necessary to create a specified number of instances of an instrument (or event) if you need to collect multiple instances.  Another benefit is you are no longer limited by the planned number of repetitions. Repeating instruments can be used in classic or longitudinal studies.

Introducing "Smart Variables"
Smart Variables are dynamic variables that can be used in calculated fields, conditional/branching logic, and piping. Similar to using project variable names inside square brackets - e.g., [heart_rate], Smart Variables are also represented inside brackets - e.g., [user-name], [survey-link], [previous-event-name][weight], or [heart_rate][previous-instance]. But instead of pointing to data fields, Smart Variables are context-aware and thus adapt to the current situation. Some can be used with field variables or other Smart Variables, and some are meant to be used as stand-alone. There are many possibilities.

Smart Variables can reference things with regard to users, records, forms, surveys, events/arms, or repeating instances. To learn more, visit the Smart Variables informational page.

Enhancements to Reports
Reports can now be organized into folders (called Report Folders) in any given project. If you have "Add/Edit Reports" privileges, you will see an "Organize" link on the left-hand project menu above your reports. You will be able to create folders and then assign your reports to a folder, after which the project's reports will be displayed in collapsible groups on the left-hand menu. Report Folders are a great way to organize reports if your project has a lot of them.

Also, in addition to setting "View Access" when creating or editing a report, you can now set the report's "Edit Access" (under Step 1) to control who in the project can edit, copy, or delete the report. This setting will be very useful if you wish to prevent certain users from modifying or deleting particular reports.

There is also a new search feature on the left-hand menu to allow you to search within the title of your reports to help you navigate to a report very quickly. ENJOY!

Want to know more about REDCap?  Find out more here!