Starting July 1, the Clinical Research Center of UConn Health will charge project owners using its Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) program an annual support fee of $75 per year for one project or $150 per year for multiple projects and professional services, as well as $75 per hour for using the application to compensate for operation costs, according to the REDCap Memorandum.
The fee rate was increased to that of prior years, according to Senior Associate Dean for Research Planning & Coordination Dr. Victor Hesselbrock.
Students who are not receiving grant funding for their projects will not have to pay the new fees, REDCap administrator Robert Piangozza said.
REDCap is a secure web application where researchers and students alike can compile and manage online databases and surveys. Some functions of REDCap include administering recruitment surveys, collecting clinical trial data, supporting class registration or evaluation and administrating multi-site studies, according to the REDCap website.
“REDCap is used here by many clinical investigators and their data sets require doctor notes, records, lab results,” Hesselbrock said. “The requirements are pretty extensive. It’s not just simply saying, ‘Oh you wanna use REDCap? Here you go, use it.’”
Assistant Vice President of Research Dr. Khamis Abu-Hasaballah said, given REDCap’s meticulous operations, a great deal of time and resources go into each use.
“The system is quite labor intensive to keep it as secure and it takes a lot of effort to keep it up to date. That’s just on the back end,” Abu-Hasaballah said. “Every project we do goes through multiple stages, and we are involved in the process very intimately, which means there’s a lot of work to keep the system running.”
Abu-Hasaballah said the beneficial results from using REDCap has meant increased costs from new users.
“We are at the point that the system has been so successful that there has been an increase in the amount of projects on the system, [which] means we need more time managing the system,” Abu-Hasaballah said. “It covers a small portion of the cost to run the system.”
Hesselbrock said he does not see the fees now put in place being revised any time soon.
“I don’t anticipate there is going to be any extra fees going forward,” Hesselbrock said. “At the same time, unless we get a grant or another income source, we will continue to ask investigators to offset the cost having the tool.”
Abu-Hasaballah said this cost is minimal in comparison to all the application does for researchers.
“I think REDCap is a great product and we are blessed to have at the university,” Abu-Hasaballah said. “It’s a privilege and prestige to have that available to all investigators."
Lillian Whittaker is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.