Data Carpentry: Cleaning Data with OpenRefine for Social Scientists

University of Delaware

March 11, 2020

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Instructors: Paige Morgan

General Information

Data Carpentry develops and teaches workshops on the fundamental data skills needed to conduct research. Its target audience is researchers who have little to no prior computational experience, and its lessons are domain specific, building on learners' existing knowledge to enable them to quickly apply skills learned to their own research. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Good Enough Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: Morris Library, Room 116A; 181 S. College Avenue, Newark, DE, 19717. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

When: March 11, 2020. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below).

Code of Conduct: Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct. This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. The workshop organizers have checked that:

Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop and large-print handouts are available if needed by notifying the organizers in advance. If we can help making learning easier for you (e.g. sign-language interpreters, lactation facilities) please get in touch (using contact details below) and we will attempt to provide them.

Contact: Please email for more information.


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Day 1

Before starting Pre-workshop survey
Morning OpenRefine for Data Cleaning
ConclusionPost-workshop Survey



To participate in a Data Carpentry workshop, you will need access to the software and data described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

  • Open Refine, version 3.3
  • Setup Data

    You need to download some files to follow this lesson:

    Download the following four files:

  • SAFI_clean.csv
  • SAFI_messy.xlsx
  • SAFI_dates.xlsx
  • SAFI_openrefine.csv
  • Place these 3 files in a folder you can easily find and access on your computer, titled datacarpentry-spreadsheets-openrefine or some other name that you will be able to remember is associated with this workshop.

    To learn more about the data, For more information about the dataset and to download it from Figshare, check out the Social Sciences workshop data page.

    The setup instructions for the Data Carpentry Social Sciences workshops (with R) can be found at the workshop overview site.