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Best Practices for building a user friendly study (do’s and don’ts)


1. Think about the structure of your CRF before beginning to build your study:

  • Study forms are ideal for data that will only be collected once
  • Reports can be associated with a unscheduled events or repeated measures. Is best suited for events that will happen more than once or may possibly not happen at all
  • Surveys are the questionnaires sent to the participants, through their email
  • Are data validations triggered where necessary?
  • Does a data entry user have to skip around the CRF?
  • Consider the use of the Add a Report Button where needed throughout your forms. This will prevent relying on the data entry user to self-navigate to this form and creates a steady flow. You can make the button appear to the user depending on criteria being selected in a previous field by using Dependencies (field logic)
  • The summary field is ideal for visualizing an “At a Glance” information, where you can easily access data entered in separate areas of a record all on one field. The content of this field can include calculations to check if a specific report was added or if a specific response was selected in a checkbox field or any other field type.

2. Think about what you want your exported data to contain. How you build your study is directly related to how your data will appear when export

3. Always create a test record before going live and enter data in all of your forms, reports, and surveys.

4. Keep in mind that you can easily setup email notifications upon certain study events

5. Have a data management plan in place prior to going live


1. Use reports for data that you would like to use automations with

2. Create a study without concern for your variable names, as this is what will determine the how your data is identified when it is exported

3. Make changes to your study without understanding the implications

4. Use grid fields if you are unsure how many rows you will need; opt for a repeated measure field

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  1. Castor Support Team

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