In REDCap, what is a Data Dictionary, and how do I use it to change the structure of my database?

In REDCap, the Data Dictionary is a spreadsheet in CSV format representing the structure of your database. Your Data Dictionary contains the metadata used to construct your data collection instruments. It captures the same information as the Online Form Editor, but displays it in a more concise format.

Each row in a Data Dictionary spreadsheet corresponds to a field in your data entry form. The order of questions in a Data Dictionary file defines the order they appear in the database.

You can use the Data Dictionary to change the structure of your data collection instruments. If you have many variables, or are using advanced functionalities (e.g., branching logic and calculated fields), use the Data Dictionary to modify your project. Changes you make with the Data Dictionary are not propagated in real time to your project; changes are not committed until you upload the modified Data Dictionary file. Changes for development databases will take effect immediately, but changes to production databases will need to be reviewed and approved by the REDCap administrator before they take effect. The new structure will apply to both new and existing records.

If you have questions about REDCap, or need help setting up or managing a REDCap project, email Indiana CTSI support.

This is document bafz in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2015-08-20 00:00:00.

  • Fill out this form to submit your issue to the UITS Support Center.
  • Please note that you must be affiliated with Indiana University to receive support.
  • All fields are required.

Please provide your IU email address. If you currently have a problem receiving email at your IU account, enter an alternate email address.

  • Fill out this form to submit your comment to the IU Knowledge Base.
  • If you are affiliated with Indiana University and need help with a computing problem, please use the I need help with a computing problem section above, or contact your campus Support Center.

Please provide your IU email address. If you currently have a problem receiving email at your IU account, enter an alternate email address.