Skip to main content


We’d like to understand how you use our websites in order to improve them. Register your interest.

Experiences of perceived vs actual time required for data management on electronic data capture clinical trials in a non commercial setting

The traditional method of data management at the MRC Clinical Trials Unit has been for paper CRFs to be completed by accredited sites and sent in to a coordinating data centre. There the data is entered on to a trial database and cleaned. However there has been a shift recently within our unit towards electronic data capture, whereby sites enter data directly into the trial database. Data monitoring is done at the coordinating centre and cleaning occurs at both the coordinating centre and site.

The perception is that this method provides better data quality and essentially reduces the amount of time needed for data management at the co-ordinating data centre. Experience so far has shown that this may not be the case. The time required for data management is in fact directed toward less common tasks such as training and ongoing assistance to site staff in using the trial database. It appears that there is increased resource required for the database programmers due to novel data capture methodologies. There also seems to be an increase in the time spent at sites on collecting and entering the data, especially if, due to clinic conditions, they are completing paper CRFs first before data entry.

In this presentation, we shall explore the data management activities being undertaken in these trials and compare them to a similar trial employing the more traditional model described above.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nancy Tappenden.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Tappenden, N., Masters, L. Experiences of perceived vs actual time required for data management on electronic data capture clinical trials in a non commercial setting. Trials 14, O13 (2013).

Download citation


  • Data Management
  • Management Activity
  • Data Monitoring
  • Data Entry
  • Good Data


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate. Please note that comments may be removed without notice if they are flagged by another user or do not comply with our community guidelines.