This lesson is being piloted (Beta version)

Introduction

Overview

Teaching: 10 min
Exercises: 0 min
Questions
  • What is OpenRefine useful for?

Objectives
  • Describe OpenRefine’s uses and applications.

  • Differentiate data cleaning from data organization.

  • Experiment with OpenRefine’s user interface.

  • Locate helpful resources to learn more about OpenRefine.

Lesson

Motivations for the OpenRefine Lesson

Features

Before we get started

Note: this is a Java program that runs on your machine (not in the cloud). It runs inside your browser, but no web connection is needed.

Follow the Setup instructions to install OpenRefine.

If after installation and running OpenRefine, it does not automatically open for you, point your browser at http://127.0.0.1:3333/ or http://localhost:3333 to launch the program.

Getting help for OpenRefine.

You can find out a lot more about OpenRefine at http://openrefine.org and check out some great introductory videos. These videos and other on OpenRefine can also be found on YouTube, search under ‘OpenRefine’ There is a Google Group that can answer a lot of beginner questions and problems. There is also an OpenRefine Google Plus community where you can find a lot of help and a lot of folks from the life sciences are members. As with other programs of this type, OpenRefine libraries are available too, where you can find a script you need and copy it into your OpenRefine instance to run it on your dataset.

Key Points

  • OpenRefine is a powerful, free and open source tool that can be used for data cleaning.

  • OpenRefine will automatically track any steps allowing you to backtrack as needed and providing a record of all work done