Data Management Resources
The BERD core provides data management consultation for research projects. The consultation may include guidance on the selection of a data management tool, design of a data entry system, and process for integrating complex data.
Consultation up to ten hours of support per project is provided at no cost to the researcher.
If the project exceeds ten hours, plans for additional time and resources will be discussed.
The BERD core also provides training on data management topics through workshops.
Due to data security and ownership concerns, the University of Pittsburgh Human Research Protection Office (HRPO) (formerly the Institutional Review Board (IRB)) requires that only approved software be utilized for web-based surveys. Several software solutions have been approved. Approved software include:
REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a secure, Web-based application designed to optimize clinical trial data collection. It is provided at no cost for use with any IRB-approved research project.
Using REDCap’s streamlined process, users create a project, prepare data collection forms, assign the forms to study events (baseline, 2-wk, 6-wk, 6-mo, 1 yr, etc.), and enable them as online surveys or as data collection instruments in the clinic. Optimized for use on mobile devices as well as on laptop and desktop computers, REDCap includes features for automated export for seamless data downloads to Excel and common statistical packages (SPSS, SAS, Stata, R), as well as a built-in project calendar, a scheduling module, ad hoc reporting tools, and advanced features, such as branching logic, file uploading, and calculated fields.
For further information on REDCap see the Project Redcap website.
The University has a site license for the Qualtrics survey system, which is available at no cost to all Pitt faculty, staff, and students. This cloud-based research tool has been vetted and authorized by Pitt’s Office of General Counsel and Pitt’s Information Security Officer. The software is available to support teaching, academic research, and institutional business. Access to Qualtrics is available from my.pitt.edu under the My Resources tab. Individuals with university-sponsored accounts do not have direct access to Qualtrics per the licensure agreement; however, any external collaborator may be assigned by Pitt members.
Many investigators wish to collect the IP addresses of survey participants to provide a method of determining whether the user has previously completed the survey. The University and some international standards consider IP addresses to be identifiable information. This is important to consider when conducting surveys, especially if the consent process indicates that a participant’s responses will be anonymous. When using Qualtrics, check the option to anonymize the data collection process and do not collect the IP address. If IP addresses are necessary to the research, include in the consent process that you will be recording this information.
Other survey software
If any other survey software is used, it must first undergo a data security review, and if commercially available, must be purchased through the University Purchasing Office. For questions about this policy, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pitt community now has access to “DMPTool”. DMPTool was created by the California Digital Library to enable institutions to “create, review and share data management plans that meet institutional and funder requirements.” As a partner institution, the University of Pittsburgh will have the capability to create templates, add boilerplate language for PIs to copy and paste, and/or link to university resources.
The DMPTool can be accessed through the Data Management libguide (top of the right column). Click on the link, select University of Pittsburgh from the dropdown menu, and enter your Pitt computer account information.