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On this page, we are collecting tips we have commonly share with survey project builders




Intended Audience & Prerequisites

Intended Audience

  • Survey project builders

Prerequisite Knowledge & Experience

  • Basics & Survey trainings


Helpful Action Tags for Surveys

Action TagWhat it doesCommon Use Case/Example
@HIDEBUTTON Hides the today or now button on date or time validated field.Collecting the participant's birthdate? Hide the today button to prevent participants from accidentally entering today's date as their birthday.
@HIDECHOICEHides a checkbox or radio button option.Need to replace an option on a radio button field you've already collected data for? Hide the deprecated option from being displayed to new participants without losing data that was collected from previous participants.
@HIDDEN-SURVEYHides a field from being displayed on a survey.Scoring a survey in real time? Hide the field that calculates the score from the participant. 
@MAXCHECKEDLimits the number of checkbox options that can be checked.Asking a participant to rate their top 3 concerns from a list of 10 concerns? Prevent the participant from selecting more than 3 options.
@NONEOFTHEABOVEDesignates a checkbox option as mutually exclusive.Adding a "prefer not to answer" option to a checkbox field? Prevent the participant from selecting other options if they respond "prefer not to answer."
@TODAYAutomatically loads todays date collected from the participant's device. Often used in conjunction with @HIDDEN-SURVEY.Collecting the date a participant started a survey? Automated capturing the date to prevent participants from accidentally a date in the past or in the future.



Testing Your Survey/Form

It's critical to test your form as a survey and the survey settings you enabled. Test each survey/form distinct from testing other survey features, such as the Queue or sending invitations. The steps for testing your form as a survey are as follows:

  1. Add a new record.
  2. Navigate to the survey/form you want to test.
  3. Open the form and click Save and Stay.
  4. From the Survey Options drop-down at the top right of the form, select the Open Survey option.



Save & Return Option to Allow Respondents to Return without Needing a Return Code

When the Option is Not Allowed

  • Builders cannot enable the option to allow participants to return without a code on a survey contains any PHI because it would be a HIPAA violation.
  • REDCap treats data collected in notes fields as PHI. So a survey capturing a response in a note field cannot enable the option to allow participants to return without a code.

Risk Considerations for Enabling the Option

For for surveys that don't contain PHI and are not capturing a response in a notes field, the main considerations for whether or not to enable the option to save and return without a code involve the sensitivity of the data that'd being collected and ramifications for the participant, and reliability of the data that's being collected and the ramifications for the study team.

If the participant is responding to the survey on a shared device, and saves a partial response, anyone else who has access to the device may be able to access the survey link and 1) view the responses the participant already entered, and/or 2) impersonate the participant and edit and complete the survey and there would be no way for REDCap to detect this and alert the study team.



Using a Shared Email for Sending Survey Invitations or Receiving Survey Notifications

Using a shared generic email address for survey related communications is a best practice. To set up your project to send invitations from a shared account and/or receive notifications at a shared account, a user assigned to your project, and who has access to the shared account, will need to add the address of the shared account as a secondary or tertiary email address to their REDCap profile, following the steps outlined below:

  1. Log into REDCap
  2. Go to the My Projects tab or Home tab
  3. Click on Profile link in the right corner of the top nav bar.
  4. Under Additional Options, add the email address of the shared account as a secondary or tertiary email.
  5. REDCap sends a Verify your email address email message to the new account.
  6. Log into the shared email account and click on the link in the email to log into REDCap with your username and access to confirm you want to associate the new email account with your profile.

Once the user has completed the steps described above, the shared email address will be available to select from sender drop-down component of various the tools you can use to send survey invitations, in addition to being available to select as a recipient for receiving a Survey Notification.

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