How to use Data Access Groups in REDCap

Background: Studies using Brain-CODE’s REDCap instance for data collection typically collect all data within a single REDCap project. For multi-site studies, REDCap’s Data Access Group (DAG) feature is used to ensure each site has a DAG that limits their users' access only to the appropriate site’s records.

If a REDCap user is assigned to a single Data Access Group, they will only be able to view records in their DAG and any new records they create will automatically be assigned to that DAG.

If a REDCap user requires access to multiple Data Access Groups, the DAG Switcher feature will be implemented. As users can only be assigned one DAG at a time, the DAG Switcher allows users to switch their current DAG so that they can create or access records from any of the DAGs to which they have been assigned.

If a user requires access across all Data Access Groups, no DAG will be assigned and they will be able to view all records in the project. Without an assigned DAG, any new records created will not have a DAG assigned automatically and will instead need to be manually assigned to the correct DAG to be visible to DAG-assigned users.

How to Switch Data Access Groups in REDCap

If you are assigned to multiple Data Access Groups within a REDCap project, you will need to switch your DAG before entering, updating, or viewing data not from your current DAG / site.

  1. Navigate to your REDCap project.

  2. If you have access to multiple DAGs you will see your current DAG listed at the top of the page.

  3. Click Switch, select the Data Access Group you would like to switch to, and click Switch.

  4. When you navigate to the Record Status Dashboard, you will now only see records for the site you have switched to. Any new records you create will be in the new DAG and will only be accessible by all team members who have access to that DAG.


Before creating a new record in REDCap, ensure that your current DAG indicates the correct site for the participant.

 How to Assign a Data Access Group to a Record in REDCap

If you do not have a DAG assigned and you need to manually assign a Data Access Group for a record follow the steps below.

  1. Navigate to your REDCap project and click on Record Status Dashboard in the left hand sidebar.

  2. Click on the Record ID of the record you would like to update.

  3. Open the Choose action for record dropdown and click Assign to Data Access Group.

  4. Select the Data Access Group the record should be added to and click Assign to Data Access Group.


  5. You should receive a confirmation message that the record was successfully assigned to the selected Data Access Group.