Open Data Capture
Open Data Capture

Benefits of Open-Source Electronic Data Capture Platforms

Joshua Unrau Joshua Unrau

Joshua Unrau

2 min read

In the digital age, electronic data capture platforms have revolutionized the way researchers collect, manage, and analyze data. In the realms of clinical research and patient care, electronic data capture tools offer numerous benefits. However, not all electronic data capture platforms are created equal. Among platforms, open-source options stand out for their significant advantages, offering cost-savings, preventing vendor lock-in, and enhanced data security,


Open-source electronic data capture platforms are often offered at significantly lower costs than their closed-source counterparts. This affordability is particularly advantageous for clinical researchers in non-profit or academic environments, who might otherwise face financial barriers. By choosing open-source solutions, healthcare providers can allocate more funds to direct patient care, innovative treatments, and facility improvements, rather than spending excessively on software.

Long-term Stability

Open-source electronic data capture platforms provide numerous long-term benefits. These platforms are usually managed by a community, rather than a for-profit company, ensuring that users have a say in the development roadmap and pricing strategy. This community-driven approach often leads to more stable and predictable costs, supporting the continuity of ongoing research studies. Additionally, open-source platforms typically allow for more customization and flexibility, adapting to the specific needs of different projects.

Independence from a Single Vendor

One of the hallmarks of open-source is the emphasis on collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Open-source electronic data capture platforms often feature high interoperability with other tools, offering freedom from dependency on a single vendor. Users benefit from a diverse community for support, updates, and enhancements. This mitigates risks associated with vendor-specific issues like business closures or discontinuation of product support, ensuring continuity and security in the long run.

Data Security and Transparency

With open-source platforms, there’s an opportunity for independent audits and community-driven scrutiny. This means that experts and users from outside the organization that developed the platform can examine and verify the software’s code. This process ensures higher levels of security and reliability, as a diverse group of individuals can identify and mitigate potential security issues, leading to a more trustworthy and robust platform for all users. Additionally, open-source platforms often have clearer terms of service regarding data ownership, providing researchers and institutions with greater control over their valuable data.


Open-source electronic data capture platforms such as OpenDataCapture provide numerous practical benefits to researchers. Compared to alternatives, these platforms offer potential cost-savings, eliminate the risk of vendor lock-in, and offer improved data security.