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Introduction to OpenRefine

Introduction to OpenRefine In-Person

Please note: this is an in-person workshop

OpenRefine is a free desktop application that has been described as 'a power tool for working with messy data'.  OpenRefine is most useful for cleaning and standardising data in a simple tabular format such as a spreadsheet. Therefore, it can be especially useful to researchers in the humanities, who might not be used to thinking about ‘data’, but are increasingly sharing their research materials and are concerned about others making sense of them. You can use OpenRefine to learn more about; transform into different formats; and enhance or correct your data. Specific functions include, for example, removing duplicate records, standardising date formats, or finding different spellings of the same name and replacing them with a single consistent name.  

In the session, you will learn how to import data into OpenRefine, how to use the programme to interrogate, clean and organise it. We will use a sample bibliographical dataset to show you how you can speed up repetitive tasks by replaying previous actions on multiple datasets. We will also show you how to reverse or undo actions on your data. Finally, we will introduce you to using OpenRefine for importing, filtering, clustering, transforming and exporting data. These concepts are complex, and you may not have encountered them before, but by the end of the workshop you will have practical experience, gained from working on a range of examples and exercises. 

This workshop will cover:

  1. How to import data into OpenRefine  

  1. An introduction to using the functions of the program to interrogate, clean and organise the data.  

  1. Using OpenRefine for importing, filtering, clustering, transforming and exporting data, in a range of examples and exercises. 

The location for the workshop is Research Skills Teaching Room (RSTR), Boole Library (click here for directions). We will be using the computers provided in the RSTR room, so you do not need to prepare for this workshop. The software and sample data will be provided for you. 

Please note – there is no phone reception in the RSTR room. To make it easier to access services that require Multi-Factor Authentication enabled services including your email, please download onto your phone in advance the Authenticator App: 

For assistance or questions before the workshop, email researchdata@ucc.ie  

This is a Carpentries-based workshop, licensed under CC-BY 4.0 2016–2022 by Library Carpentry.

Related LibGuide: Research Data Service by Aoife Coffey

Tuesday, November 7, 2023
10:00 - 13:00
Time Zone:
UK, Ireland, Lisbon Time (change)
Research Skills Teaching Room
  Library Staff     Postgraduates     UCC Staff  
Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

Profile photo of Aoife Coffey
Aoife Coffey

Research Services
Q+2 Boole Library,
University College Cork

Profile photo of Deborah Thorpe
Deborah Thorpe

Research Services,
Boole Library,
University College Cork