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Data Retention Standard: REDCap

Purpose 

To define which projects should remain in our REDCap System Server database, and for how long. The standard will specify what projects qualify for deletion and when the deletion activity occurs so that we can keep REDCap current and manage projects according to industry best practices. 

Standard 

REDCap projects will be available to project owners (and those with whom a project has been shared) within REDCap for 7 years after the “most recent activity” in the project.  “most recent activity” dates for a project can be viewed by logging into REDCap, clicking “My Projects”, selecting your project, and then clicking the “Project Home” tab. 

 

Starting the 11th week of each fall and spring semester all projects that have a “most recent activity” dated older than 7 years will be subject to permanent deletion from REDCap. The project deletion process will occur toward the end of every semester. 

  • 11th week of fall 2021 – deletion of projects with a “most recent activity” date of 11/1/2014 
  • 11th week of spring 2022 – deletion of projects with a “most recent activity” date of 4/1/2015 
  • 11th week of fall 2022 – deletion of projects with a “most recent activity” date of 11/1/2015 
  • 11th week of spring 2023 – deletion of projects with a “most recent activity” date of 4/1/2016 
  • 11th week of fall 2023 – deletion of projects with a “most recent activity” date of 11/1/2016 
  • 11th week of spring 2024 – deletion of projects with a “most recent activity” date of 4/1/2017 

Researchers are also encouraged to create and keep a local export (copy) of their own projects if needed.  To copy or back up a project, log into REDCap, click “My Projects”, select your project, click the “Other Functionality” tab, and scroll down to the “Copy or Back Up the Project” section. 

Definition 

Most Recent Activity: Any change to the database such as, but not limited to the following: 

  • Modifying/Editing a project 
  • Changing a project status 
  • Data input into a project (either manual or through a designed instrument) 
  • Exporting data from project 
  • Adding/Removing/Editing user access to project 

Exceptions  

There are currently no exceptions to this standard.  Researchers are also encouraged to create and keep a local export (copy) of their own projects if needed.  To copy or back up a project, log into REDCap, click “My Projects”, select your project, click the “Other Functionality” tab, and scroll down to the “Copy or Back Up the Project” section. 

Governance 

This standard will be reviewed by the Surveys Advisory Community based on fluctuations in the technology landscape, and/or changes to established practices and mandates. 

Reviewers 

The reviewers of this standard are members of the Surveys Advisory Community. 

History 

Draft version of this standard has been approved on 7/15/21.