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Before a project is moved to production or before new forms are added to a production project, the expectation is the project team with thoroughly vet each form by entering data to test and validate every field. 

  • Real data should not be entered in your REDCap project while it is in development. 
  • All test data collected during development will be deleted when the project is moved to production.

Base Level - Testing & Optimizations

1Field Type

Verify the field type, (i.e. text field, radio button, etc.) will accommodate the kind of data you’re expecting to collect in the field.

2Field Functionality

Confirm there are no technical issues with calculations, branching logic, or any action tags applied to the field.

3Field Label

Review with data entry personnel to address ambiguous or confusing language or instructions.

4Variable Name

Validate with your analyst or statistician for preferences, ease of analysis, compatibility with stats packages, requirements for scoring, reporting or data sharing.

5Coding or Raw Values
  • Applies to multi-select fields.
  • Validate with your analyst or statistician for requirements for scoring, reporting or data sharing, preferences, ease of analysis, and consistent codes for similar response options.
6Enforce Formatting (Apply validation rules)
  • Look for opportunities to apply validation rules to standardize units of measurement and date formats, and apply action tags to help reduce anomalies and discrepancies during data entry.
  • Example: Apply integer or number validation to fields collecting measurements or scores.
7IdentifierDetermine if the field contains any identifying information (e.g., name, SSN, address).

Advanced Level - Testing & Optimizations

1Custom alignment

Confirm fields are left vertically aligned to place the input closest to the label and reduce the cognitive load on the persons entering data.


Verify that the fields capturing the data needed for analysis are marked as required.


Review the look and feel of the form on different devices and browsers, and use field embedding to make improvements to the layout and the rich text editor to improvements to the formatting.

4Data quality

Look for opportunities to make modifications to capture high quality data, i.e. transform open-ended text fields into closed-ended drop-downs, radio buttons and checkbox fields, separate out 2 part values into individual fields, transform unknown date fields into 3 part values, with two drop-down fields for days and months, and integer validated text field for year.


Consider setting up your missing data codes for this project via the Optional Modules > Additional Customizations > Missing Data Codes.

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