Email Going to Spam!

We occasionally have reports of email messages from REDCap going to Spam or not being received at all. All email messages sent from REDCap pass through University of Alberta mail servers before being handed off to third-party servers for delivery. We have limited control over what happens to messages once they leave the University environment and third-party mail systems such as Alberta Health Services, Microsoft, Google, etc. all have different policies with regards to spam filtering. Although these servers are outside of our control there are some things you can do to help.

REDCap System Messages

Administrative messages such as login information, password change, etc. are generally sent from If you have problems with these messages you can try the following:

Survey Invitations

If your project is sending out survey invitations then:

Spam filters check the "from" address of the email against the domain name of the organization from which it originates. If the two do not match then there is a very high probability that the message will end up in spam.

If your Principal Investigator or other team member is a University of Alberta employee then you probably already have a address available. You can also request a "secondary" email address from your departmental administrators. Many projects that we support have a "team" email address that they use. This has the added benefit that project email can be handled centrally, avoiding problems when a member of staff is on vacation.

If you do not have access to a address, or if you need help getting one, then you can email us at We'll do our best to help.

The automated invitations setting in the Online Designer allows you to select the "from" address of your outgoing invitations. The addresses available for selection are taken from a list of users with project setup rights. To add new addresses to that list the new address must be added to a user's profile. Each user's profile can have up to three email addresses.

** Update October 2023 **

Please see this page for information regarding configuration changes that we have made to alleviate this problem.

The Bottom Line

Email messages from REDCap are not encrypted and are outside of our control once they have left the REDCap server. Messages may travel trough systems belonging to many different third-parties on route to their destination and should be considered to be insecure and potentially unreliable. Where a study involves time-sensitive survey invitations study teams should take steps to ensure that they are managing/monitoring study participants accordingly and have a plan-B for obtaining critical information, such as providing paper copies of participant survey forms or performing regular telephone follow-up calls.