Beyond Production Mode
Once you move to Production, changes made to your project are still possible, but the rules are more stringent. There are a few things which you may modify post-Production without significant changes to the data integrity of your project. For instance, you may add new fields or add new choices to existing multiple choice fields. You may not make major changes to existing components (such as altering any existing fields or choices) without gaining approval from a REDCap administrator.
To make any changes, a new module will appear at the bottom of your main Project Setup page giving you the option of modifying your project in Draft Mode (NOTE: this make take several minutes to first appear in your project).
Once entered into the Online Designer, you will be prompted to ensure that entering Draft Mode is what you intend to do. Once you have clicked “Enable Draft Mode”, you may make any necessary changes and submit them for review and approval.
Once you have made your change(s) to your data form(s), we strongly encourage you to click “View detailed summary of all drafted changes” before submitting your changes for review. In that screen, you will be able to view how many records will be affected by the changes, which modifications may take place immediately (versus which will need administrator approval), and other details about the drafted changes.
Any changes that need approval will be pending until your REDCap administrator verifies and approves them. You will be alerted to this approval (or rejection) by e-mail. Once the changes are approved (or rejected), your project will be back in full, official Production status and you have the option to enter Draft Mode again if necessary.
[TIPS AND TRICKS]:Communication with your REDCap contact admin is key to ensuring your changes will be approved quickly. Sending a short e-mail describing the reasons behind your changes will help validate your modifications and get them implemented more swiftly.
Inactive Mode is only available once a project is already in Production Mode; it is not available in Development. Under the “Other Functionality” tab in your project’s home page, you may move the project to an inactive status. This is ideal for a point in time where you would like to stop any incoming data entry, but you would still like to export and analyze the records you have collected. Accordingly, Inactive Mode will restrict data collection and any project setup changes, leaving record access and data analysis intact for all existing records.
Your project will still be accessible from your main “My Projects” page, but you will see a new red “Inactive” icon next to it. Once you enter the project, you will notice that there is now limited functionality. Not all of the modules from previous modes appear in your left-side menu, and your project status is explicitly listed as “Inactive.”
To move your project back into Production, simply click the “Other Functionality” tab and click “Move to production status.” Since your project was already previously approved for Production, it does not need approval a second time; it will be immediately placed back into Production.
Once you are finished with a project, you may either delete it or archive it. We recommend archiving your projects rather than deleting them, in case you would like to perform any follow-up studies in the future. Unlike Inactive Mode, a project can be moved into Archived Mode whether it is in Development or Production status. You may even move a project into Archived Mode directly from Inactive Mode.
Once a project is moved to Archived Mode, a toggle will appear at the bottom of your projects listed in the main “My Projects” home page (“Show/Hide Archived Projects”). By default, archived projects will be hidden from your “My Projects” list, but toggling it to “Show” will enable you to access the project. Like Inactive Mode, limited data access abilities are still available. To move your project back into Production, simply click the “Other Functionality” tab and click “Move to production status.”
Additional Features of REDCap
The calendar feature of REDCap allows you to keep track of events related to your project/study, with the option of associating each event with a record. In the above example, three of the events are attached to specific records, while the Design Meeting is not. Various viewing modes are available for the calendar, and you may print the calendar as well.
Another feature of the Calendar module is the Scheduling module, which is available for longitudinal studies only. The Scheduling module can be seen by enabling both the “Use longitudinal data collection with repeating forms?” option and the “Scheduling module (longitudinal only)” option.
Once both of those options are enabled, a new “Scheduling” tool will appear in the left-side menu. Assuming that you have already set up your Events with the correct “days offset” specifications (see the Longitudinal studies section), adding new Record IDs will automatically generate a schedule to add to the calendar with all events accordingly booked for that record. You may also generate a schedule for the remaining events on any existing record.
……..Graphical Data View & Stats
This module takes aggregate data from your data set (organized by data form) and automatically generates relevant plots and simple statistical analyses. It is a useful tool for data overview and evaluation. You can choose to view only the plots, only the statistics, or both. In the example below, I have chosen to view only the statistics. Total responses, missing values, and count frequencies for individual responses are listed. When viewing the plots, you may choose between viewing them either as bar charts or pie charts.
The File Repository module contains all of the data exports that have been performed on your data set. In addition, users may upload relevant files for other users to download and/or utilize.
……..Field Comment Log
When entering data into a data form, you may have comments or caveats concerning specific fields. If this is the case, you may utilize the Field Comment Log. To first create your comment, click the speech bubble next to the field in the record you are working on. Enter your comment and click “Save.” You will notice that the speech bubble icon is now lit, indicating that a comment exists for that field.
To view the collective comments for all records, click the Field Comment Log module in the left-side toolbar. Comments are linked to their corresponding records, along with the user who made the comment, and the date/time at which the comment was made. You may sort through the comments with various filters, as well as export the comment log to a .CSV file.
Running a check in the Data Quality module can help you keep track of invalid or missing data across fields. You may execute each “rule” in the pre-made list (as well as create your own) and check for discrepancies such as missing values and data validation errors. I have run a few of them in the example below. As you can see, while I do not have any data validation errors, there are 82 total missing values among my records, which (depending on the fields that are missing) can cause problems in advanced data analysis.