validateImport: Validate Data Frames for Import

Description Usage Arguments Details Author(s) References

View source: R/validateImport.R


Validates the variables in a data frame prior to attempting an import to REDCap


validateImport(data, meta_data, logfile = "")



Data frame being prepared for import to REDCap.


REDCap database meta data.


A character string giving the filepath to which the results of the validation are printed. If "", the results are printed in the console.


validateImport is called internally by importRecords and is not available to the user.

Each variable is validated by matching they type of variable with the type listed in the REDCap database.

Although the log messages will indicate a preference for dates to be in mm/dd/yyyy format, the function will accept mm/dd/yy, yyyy-mm-dd, yyyy/mm/dd, and yyyymmdd formats as well. When possible, pass dates as Date objects or POSIXct objects to avoid confusion. Dates are also compared to minimum and maximum values listed in the data dictionary. Records where a date is found out of range are allowed to import and a message is printed in the log.

For continuous/numeric variables, the values are checked against the minimum and maximum allowed in the data dictionary. Records where a value is found out of range are allowed to import and a message is printed in the log.

ZIP codes are tested to see if they fit either the 5 digit or 5 digit + 4 format. When these conditions are not met, the data point is deleted and a message printed in the log.

YesNo fields permit any of the values 'yes', 'no', '0', '1' to be imported to REDCap with 0=No, and 1=Yes. The values are converted to lower case for validation, so any combination of lower and upper case values will pass (ie, the data frame is not case-sensitive).

TrueFalse fields will accept 'TRUE', 'FALSE', 0, 1, and logical values and are also not case-sensitive.

Radio and dropdown fields may have either the coding in the data dictionary or the labels in the data dictionary. The validation will use the meta data to convert any matching values to the appropriate coding before importing to REDCap. Values that cannot be reconciled are deleted with a message printed in the log. These variables are not case-sensitive.

Checkbox fields require a value of "Checked", "Unchecked", "0", or "1". These are currently case sensitive. Values that do not match these are deleted with a warning printed in the log.

Phone numbers are required to be 10 digit numbers. The phone number is broken into three parts: 1) a 3 digit area code, 2) a 3 digit exchange code, and 3) a 4 digit station code. The exchange code must start with a number from 2-9, followed by 0-8, and then any third digit. The exchange code starts with a number from 2-9, followed by any two digits. The station code is 4 digits with no restrictions.

E-mail addresses are considered valid when they have three parts. The first part comes before the @ symbol, and may be number of characters from a-z, A-Z, a period, underscore, percent, plus, or minus. The second part comes after the @, but before the period, and may consist of any number of letters, numbers, periods, or dashes. Finally, the string ends with a period then anywhere from 2 to 6 letters.


Benjamin Nutter


See the REDCap Help and FAQ page's section on 'Text Validation Types'

Validating e-mail addresses

redcapAPI documentation built on Feb. 18, 2020, 1:09 a.m.