Data Management Guidance, Tools & Resources

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires that all grant proposals be accompanied by a data management plan. Other federal funding agencies have similar requirements or will have soon. This guide will serve as a starting point to guide researchers through the data life cycle process with available tools either on campus or through the California Digital Library (CDL).

Data Collection Tools

Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap)

The Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) system offers a secure, HIPAA compliant web-based electronic data capture system that enables researchers to quickly and easily build surveys, data entry forms, and surveys with private data entry forms. The data entered into REDCap data entry forms and surveys is stored in a centralized system, which enables researchers to share data with their UCSF research teams and external collaborators in real-time. REDCap can be accessed from any computer or mobile device, including PCs, Macs, tablets, and mobile phones.

REDCap databases and surveys can be created on a self-service basis through an intuitive point-and-click REDCap form designer or on a consulting basis. To request the services of a CTSI consultant for the creation of your REDCap database and/or survey, please submit a consulting request through the CTSI. REDCap is available for use free of charge to the UCSF Research Community and its external collaborators.

For additional information and upcoming RedCap training opportunities, please contact the ITS-Academic Research Systems Team. To request the creation of REDCap user accounts for your research team members, please complete our online request form or call the ITS Help Desk at (415) 514-4100 option 2.

See also:

Data Access

UCSF/ZSFG Clinical Data for Research

Request electronic health record data from APeX and data from ZSFG and other DPH facilities. Begin the process with a CTSI Data Management and Extraction Consultation Request.

Population Health and Health Services Research Datasets

A searchable database with more than 100 dataset resources for population health, health services research and health equity research. Consultation available

Data Processing Tools


The MyResearch environment provide UCSF research teams with a secure, web based, collaborative environment in which to store, share, and analyze files containing sensitive data, including research health information (RHI) and protected health information (PHI). The MyResearch environment provides application and database services that allow investigators to view, manipulate, and save their data entirely in this protected environment without requiring files to be stored on their own computers. The applications available for use in the MyResearch environment include SAS, Stata, SPSS, Atlas.ti, Enterprise Architect, TreeAge, and MS Office 2010 suite (including MS Project and MS OneNote).

MyResearch is available for use free of charge to the UCSF Research Community and its external collaborators. For additional information about the MyResearch environment, please contact the ITS-Academic Research Systems team. To request the creation of a MyResearch site and associated user accounts for your research team, go here or call the ITS Help Desk at (415) 514-4100 option 2.

Data Management Resources

  • CTSI Consultation Services provides expert advice in a wide range of subject areas, including data management issues such as how to design databases and workflow to support studies, electronic health record extracts from the APeX system, assistance with querying existing databases, consultations for Comparative Effectiveness Large Data Set Analysis and other data management needs  (initial hour of consultation is free of charge).
  • Dash is a data repository service for the University of California that accepts a wide variety of data formats and meets funder and publisher requirements for data sharing.
  • Data Management for Clinical Research is a free online course offered by Vanderbilt University via Coursera. You do not receive a grade for the class, but if you participate and successfully complete all assignments and tests then you receive a certificate upon completion.
  • Data Systems Services in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics provides data collection, cleaning, and storage services to research investigators.
  • Library Data Science Initiative provides free training and consultations to help you make a data management plan, publish data to meet journal requirements, or get started organizing and documenting your research data.
  • San Francisco Coordinating Center specializes in services for multi-center clinical trials.
  • The University of California Curation Center (UC3) is a creative partnership bringing together the expertise and resources of the California Digital Library (CDL), the ten UC campuses, and the broader international curation community to foster collaborative analysis, projects, and solutions to ensure the long-term viability and usability of curated digital content. Please contact UC3 for more information.