REDCap Add Participants En Masse


There are two ways to import survey participants into a REDCap project: Data Import Tool and Survey Participant List. The Data Import Tool allows users to initially assign a Record ID (and customized unique identifiers) and import project data like participant email from a CSV file or XML file. The Survey Participant List allows users to enter participant emails (and participant identifiers) with the intention of sending customized survey invites. The Participant List does not automatically create a Record per participant. 

How to Use the Data Import Tool

The Data Import Tool is a quick way to add multiple participants at once. It is possible to initially assign a Record ID and customized unique identifiers. 

  1. Navigate to the Data Import Tool

  2. Download the “Data Import Template (with records in rows)” CSV file. (Note: There is another option to download the records in columns.)

  3. The template contains field variables as column headers and is empty of data. In this example, the record id, participant_id, first_name, last_name, and email_var variables appear at the beginning because the template format is driven by survey field order.

  4. Enter in participant emails, customized unique identifiers, and assign participants a record id in numerical order, starting with 1, or enter custom Record IDs, and any other information you want to now. In this example, information was entered into the record id, participant_id, first_name, last_name, and email_var fields.

  5. Save the CSV file, choose the file, and upload. REDCap has upload options, but in this example, they were left at default.

  6. REDCap will review the imported data and show any errors before the data is committed. Click “Import Data” to commit the imported data.

  7. Navigate to the Record Status Dashboard and notice the new records that have been created, along with the secondary unique identifying value (if the option was turned on).

  8. Choose any record and notice the participant ID, first name, last name and email were automatically populated based on the information submitted via the CSV file. 

  9. Navigate to the Participant List through the Survey Distribution Tools link and notice the participants that were added. Surveys are now ready to be sent.

Participant List

Adding Participants with customized unique identifiers to the Participant List is a more manually involved process. Unlike the Data Import Tool method, the Participant List requires a participant response to assign a Record ID. 

  1. Navigate to “Survey Distribution Tools”

  2. Click on the “Participant List Tab.”

  3. Click “Add participants"

  4. Enter a list of participant emails, with each email on its own line, then click "Add Participants".

  5. Notice how a Record ID for each participant was NOT instantiated. When adding participants using the participants list, a Record ID is created ONLY when a participant submits a survey response.

  6. If the email field is designated to be used for communications, then the email field will prefill with the email when the particpant completes the survey. If the survey field is not set up for communications, a project user must navigate to the respondents respective first survey record, and manually enter the participant email. Either way, a user must manually enter the unique identifier by navigating to the participant completed record and updating the field. (Note: Only a user with the given permissions can complete this step.) The reason why a participant’s e-mail is entered again is to supply the email field within a survey the participant email for piping purposes. Surveys are now ready to be sent.
  7. Additional participants can be added at any time using the steps above


Article ID: 990
Mon 12/19/22 11:32 AM
Wed 8/30/23 11:48 AM

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