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Collect Data with a Survey

Resources for learning about and conducting public opinion and other research surveys, including recruitment, questionnaire design, and online survey software.

Originally designed for longitudinal clincial studies, RedCap is a mature survey system with several special features.  It is slightly more difficult to get started with and does not have as many options as Qualtrics when it comes to question types or layouts. But, it still has everything you might need for research data collection.If you do not know what software to use, you can contact the Digital Scholarship Center (DiSC) at to discuss the various options.

See this page in two guides:

Access to RedCap

RedCap is available to all researchers at Mason, go to RedCap @ Mason and log in with your Patriot Pass username and password. 

Why Choose RedCap over Qualtrics?

REDCap vs Qualtrics

TIP: Unless you really need one of these features, choose Qualtrics instead

  • Enhanced Privacy
    • hosted on a server at Mason, so no data is held by a private company.
    • supports save and continue even in a completely anonymous survey,. 
    • allows "sending" files with sensitive data
    • more fine-grained permission granting for teams
  • Excellent for longitudinal data collection
    • Calendar and scheduling module to plan and organize
    • Can use the same form at multiple time points, or not
  • Tools to assist Data Entry by hand
    • Includes Data Resolution Workflow
    • Allows displaying messages that only appear for data entry or vice-versa
    • Allows identifying incomplete records and tracking data changes
  • Free advanced features (Qualtrics has these, but for an extra fee)

Why not REDCap? 

  • Less user-friendly, but good tutorials. and tips
  • Does not layout survey using best practices by default
    • Default is answer choices to the right of questions, but uses previous choice
    • No setting to automatically have every question on it's own page
  • Logic (skip, display, randomization) more difficult to use
  • Fewer but sufficient options to customize the look and feel

Using RedCap

Learning REDCap