Import and export data in IU REDCap

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Import data


Before storing data on any of Indiana University's research computing or storage systems, make sure you understand the information in Types of sensitive institutional data appropriate for UITS Research Technologies services.

Make sure you do not include sensitive institutional data as part of a file's filename or pathname.

In IU REDCap, use the Data Import tool to import data from a comma-delimited (CSV) file:

  1. From the Data Import tool, download your Data Import Template (click Download your Data Import Template) and save it to your computer as a CSV file.
  2. Open the template and enter the data you want to import. To prevent upload errors, reduce upload time, and ensure your database is processed correctly:
    • Do not change the Variables/Field Names in the file.
    • Enter only numerical values in the "dropdown" and "radio" cells.
    • Delete any empty rows and columns before importing the file.
  3. When you are finished, save the file.
  4. From the Data Import tool, click Browse, and then select the file on your computer.
  5. Click Upload File. The Data Import Tool will display the number of records that were created or modified during the import to allow you to confirm that all records were imported.
When the file is uploaded, its data will not be imported immediately. Data will be displayed and checked for formatting errors before they are imported into the database.

Export data


If the IU REDCap project data you are accessing contain protected health information (PHI), you must treat the data as PHI, which means files must be encrypted when they are stored (at rest) and when they are transferred from one system to another (in transit). For more, see:

If you have questions about securing HIPAA-regulated research data at IU, email SecureMyResearch provides self-service resources and one-on-one consulting to help IU researchers, faculty, and staff meet cybersecurity and compliance requirements for processing, storing, and sharing regulated and unregulated research data; for more, see About SecureMyResearch. To learn more about properly ensuring the safe handling of PHI on UITS systems, see the UITS IT Training video Securing HIPAA Workflows on UITS Systems. To learn about division of responsibilities for securing PHI, see Shared responsibility model for securing PHI on UITS systems.

In IU REDCap, use the Data Export tool, accessed from your project using the link in the menu on the left, to export data. The tool provides several options for exporting data, including a simple one-click option for a quick dump of all records for your project.

For granular control over data export, choose Advanced Export, which lets you select individual fields or entire data collection instruments for export. If you have the necessary user privileges on your project, you can use the data de-identification options to limit the amount of sensitive information that is exported.

Once you've selected all fields and optional de-identification boxes, at the bottom of the page, click Submit. Subsequently, a page will appear that allows you to save the files to your computer. The files are comma-delimited and may be read into SPSS, Excel, R, SAS, and other analysis packages. Project data can also be exported in CDISC ODM format. If any fields in the database are tagged as Identifiers, those particular fields will be displayed in red.

An entire REDCap project can now be exported as a single XML file (which happens to be in CDISC ODM format). The file includes events, arms, instruments, fields, project attributes, and descriptive field attachments. If the project contains data, then users can also optionally export the project data (including uploaded files) in the same XML file. This file can serve as a snapshot or backup copy of the project.

Alternatively, you can export all project data to a single PDF file. The PDF will retain the page format from your data entry or survey page, and include all data for all records for all data collection instruments.

Another data export option allows users with data export privileges to download a ZIP file containing the uploaded files for all records in the project (files uploaded to "File Upload" fields on data entry forms and/or surveys). The ZIP file will contain a folder with all the files organized by record name and variable/field name, and it will also contain an index.html file that lists the following attributes for the files: record name, variable/field name, original filename, and the date/time the file was uploaded.

REDCap automatically places backup copies of all exported files in the File Repository.

Get help

If you have questions about IU REDCap, or need help setting up or managing an IU REDCap project, email IU REDCap Support at

This is document bagb in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2023-08-16 14:24:22.