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Import study data

You can find this manual item also in our workshop. Click here to open the workshop video.

Here you will learn how to import data, either per record or for multiple records at a time. 

If you are looking to import report data, check this article

Before you start

Here are some things to check before you begin this process:

  • You must have edit rights enabled for the record.
  • The variable name must already exist in your study.
  • The value must be valid according to the field's validation rules.
  • Date fields must be formatted as plain text, i.e. not using Excel data formatting.
  • Date fields must be formatted as dd-mm-yyyy.
  • Please note that you cannot import non-ASCII characters.
  • To assign data as user missing before importing, you should use the value ##USER_MISSING_99## in the appropriate cell. (This will import the value -99, you can replace 99 with any of the other values that are used for user missing, from -95 to -99).
  • Please note that it is not possible to import queries, data validations, signatures, data verifications and comments.
  • It is now possible to import Grid field data.

Warning: Importing data will overwrite existing data, please make sure you are only importing data for empty fields, or data you wish to overwrite. Always use the single record import function when possible, to reduce the risk of accidentally importing data for the wrong record.

Prepare your data for import

Format your data according the following guidelines:

  • Prepare your data horizontally, with the record Id(s) and the institute abbreviation (as set in Settings) in one of the first five columns (A-E). 
  • In the Import dialog select the columns containing the record Id and the column with the institute abbreviation. 
  • The first row should always contain all the variable names. 
  •  Save your data as a .csv file.

Importing option group data: checkboxes, radio buttons, dropdowns

Below you will find the requirements to prepare the option groups for import.

Importing checkboxes

Since checkboxes allow to select multiple answers, each answer option needs to be in a separate column indicating the variable name of a checkbox field and the option in the first row: variablename#option_name. If a particular option of a checkbox field should be selected, it has to have a value '1' and '0' if it should not be selected.

Tip: You can best approach this by first exporting the checkbox fields, so you know the exact column names.

Importing radio buttons / dropdowns

Enter a value that corresponds the option value that should be selected.

Importing for all records, or for a single record

1) Click on the cogwheel and choose import spreadsheet to import data for one record.
2) Click on 'Import' to import data for multiple records.

Choose the file and orientation

  • File: Choose the file (newer browsers will always display c:\fakepath as a security measure).
  • Import type: Choose if the import type is study import or report import
  • Record id column: Choose the column from your csv-file that contains the record ID's.
  • Create records that do not exist: Check the box if you want to create new records with the imported data and fill existing records, instead of only filling the existing records.
  • Institute abbreviation column: Choose the column from your csv-file that contains the abbreviation of the institute, only required when creating new records on the fly.
  • Import email addresses: Choose if you want to import email addresses
  • Click Upload

The data importer will show a preview of all data that will be imported, this way it is possible to see the results before it is actually imported and allows for cancelling the import if needed. clicking Accept button will continue the data import.

Importing data:

Watch the video walk-through on Castor Academy:

Importing study data | Castor Academy

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