REDCap Tip: Copy an Instrument From One Project to Another Via Instrument ZIP

Increase the effeciency of your data collection efforts!

May 27, 2021

Instruments can be used across multiple REDCap projects preventing the need to re-create the same instrument multiple times. REDCap users can copy an instrument from one project and upload it into a different project. Copying an instrument is done by downloading a ZIP file of an instrument then uploading that file into the separate project.

How to copy an instrument

Navigate to the Online Designer in the project that contains the instrument to be copied. Click on the “Choose action” dropdown next to the instrument name and select “Download Instrument ZIP”. In the example below, the instrument, “Baseline Questionnaire,” is being copied.

'Data Collection Instruments' screenshot with 'Choose Action' and 'Download Instrument ZIP' buttons highlighted. Save the ZIP file and note the folder where it is downloaded. Then, open the new REDCap project where the copy of the instrument will be added. Navigate to the Online Designer and click on the “Upload” button under the “Add new Instrument” header.

'Data Collection Instruments' screenshot with 'Upload' highlighted in 'Add New Instrument' options.

A pop-up window will appear to search for the previously saved ZIP file. Once the appropriate file is selected, click “Upload instrument ZIP.”

Upload Instrument ZIP screenshot with 'Upload Instrument ZIP' button highlighted.

A pop-up window will appear indicating the document was successfully uploaded. If there are any variable names in the uploaded instrument that already exist in the new project, REDCap will automatically rename those variables and indicate which variables were renamed. The instrument will populate at the bottom of the list of instruments, but can be moved to appear anywhere on the list.

Please note, if the copied instrument was a survey, the survey settings will not copy over to the new project. The survey functionality will need to be enabled and the appropriate survey settings set in the new project.

Interested in more REDCap resources? Check out the REDCap page and explore the ways our REDCap team can empower your data collection!