Updates and Additional Features

 

Here you can find more detailed information about the most recent REDCap updates, the available action tags, and additional features you can set up in your REDCap database.


  Recent Updates (1/26/2018)

  • New Action Tags
    • @CHARLIMIT: Limits the number of characters in a field
    • @WORDLIMIT: Limits the number of words in a field
    • @HIDECHOICE: Allows the user to "retire" an answer choice and hide it without losing data
    • @NONEOFTHEABOVE: A none of the above feature for checkbox fields that prevent the data enterer from selecting multiple options
    • @RANDOMORDER: Randomizes the order of answers in multiple choice questions
    • @MAXCHECKED: Allows designer to limit the number of answer choices a participant can check
    • @MAXCHOICE: Limits the number of people who can select each answer choice
  • PDFs
    • Allow survey respondents can download a PDF of their answers--this may include PHI and should be used accordingly
    • At the top of a data entry form, download a PDF of that form for that record
  • New save options:
    • Save and exit record
    • Save and next record
  • Data entry improvement: Use the space bar to select an option when tabbing through multiple choice/checkbox questions
  • When the "Require reason for changes" option is enabled, no longer require a reason when adding data to a blank (grey) form in an existing record
  • Calculations can now use 'now' the same way they use 'today'
  • Calculated fields will now have a red bar on one side if the value displayed in the field is different from the value stored in the database
  • File imports (manual and API) can now auto-number records upon import
  • An error message will now display for duplicate coding in multiple choice questions
  • The public survey link now has a "Open and Log out" option
  • The survey queue will now display the first instrument in the project for increased flexibility
  • The phone validation option now allows for 8XX and 9XX numbers other than 800 and 900
  • REDCap will display a notice when an export is taking longer than three minutes to not stop the export or reload the tab
  • Action tags don't work on voice surveys; there is now a notice for this and REDCap will include action tags in the scan when evaluating if a survey will work for voice calls
  • There is now an option to allow respondents to save and return later without a return code--should not be used if there is a risk of exposing sensitive information

 


 Action Tags

Action tags are special features that begin with the '@' sign that can be placed inside a field's Field Annotation. Each action tag has a corresponding action that is performed for the field when displayed on data entry forms and survey pages.

A full list of the action tags that can be used in REDCap:

Action Tag Function

@CHARLIMIT

Limits the number of characters in a field

@DEFAULT

Sets a field's initial value. This allows a field to have a specified default value when viewing the field on a survey or data entry form that has not yet had any data saved for it.  For text fields, you may even perform Piping inside the default value to pipe data from another field in the project.
@HIDDEN Hides the field on both the survey page and the data entry form.
@HIDDEN-FORM Hides the field only on the data entry form
@HIDDEN-SURVEY Hides the field only on the survey page
@HIDECHOICE Allows the user to "retire" an answer choice and hide it without losing data

@LATITUDE

Allows text field to capture latitude of user
@LONGITUDE Allows text field to capture longitude of user
@HIDEBUTTON Hides the 'Now' or 'Today' button that is typically displayed to the right of date, time, and date/time fields.
@MAXCHECKED Allows designer to limit the number of answer choices a participant can check
@MAXCHOICE Limits the number of people who can select each answer choice
@NONEOFTHEABOVE A none of the above feature for checkbox fields that prevent the data enterer from selecting multiple options
@NOW Automatically provides the user's current time as value of a text field when page is loaded
@PASSWORDMASK Masks the value of a text field so that the rue value is not visible on the webpage after it has been entered
@PLACEHOLDER Is used to specify a short hint that describes the expected value of a Text field or Notes field
@RANDOMORDER Randomizes the order of answers in multiple choice questions
@READONLY Makes the field read-only on both the survey page and the data entry form
@READONLY-FORM Makes the field read-only on the data entry form
@READONLY-SURVEY Makes the field read-only on the survey
@TODAY Automatically provides the user's current date as value of a text field when page is loaded
@USERNAME Sets a field's value to the username of the current REDCap user. If this is used on a survey, the value will be '[survey respondent]'. Once the value is captured, it will not be changed when visiting the page at a later time.
@WORDLIMIT Limits the number of words in a field

 There are three additional action tags for the REDCap App. They are:

Action Tag Function
@BARCODE-APP Allows the REDCap mobile App to capture the value of a barcode or QR code
@HIDDEN-APP Hides the field only on the form ONLY on the REDCap mobile app
@READONLY-APP Makes the field read-only on the form ONLY on the REDCap Mobile App
@APPUSERNAME-APP Sets a field's value to the app username of the current mobile app user
@SYNC-APP For File Upload and Signature fields. This will cause any image files uploaded to a record to be sent to the app so that they are viewable in the app when editing the record.

 More action tags will be coming in the future!

 


 Additional Features 

Occasionally, we develop additional features that work to enhance REDCap, called plug-ins or hooks. These are usually developed for specific projects for a fee, but if something is in wide demand and there is time in our schedules we may develop them independently. We currently have two features plug-ins available that anyone may use.

  • The COMIRB plug-in works with the Demographics template available when you create a new project. It will allow you to produce the enrollment status you need for your continuing review, exactly as the IRB wants. Instructions for setting up the COMIRB plug-in can be found here.
  • The Auto-Notify plug-in will send you an e-mail automatically if a question is filled out a certain way. For example, it could notify you if a participant answers a survey in a way that suggests they are considering self-harm, or it could let you know that it is a participant's birthday so you can send them a card. Instructions for setting up the Auto-Notify plug-in can be found here.
  • The Multiple Instrument/Event plug-in allows you to add up to 200 events at one time. This is useful if you have a project with a large number of events. It also gives you two new options for designating instruments. You can designate the same instruments for more than one descriptive name/event using the "Start" and "End" pull down menu or you can designate the same instruments for more than one event using the "Same Instrument" pull-down. Instructions for setting up the Multiple Instrument/Event plug-in can be found here.
  • The Add Record plug-in allows you to link two REDCap projects. By using the plug-in, you can update the information in one project as soon as you save data in the matching record in a second project. Instructions for setting up the Add Record plug-in can be found here.

Because these additional features are outside of what Vanderbilt supplies for the base-model REDCap, occasionally an update to REDCap will cause one of these to malfunction. If that happens, please e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and we will try to correct the error as soon as possible.