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

  • 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.


Motivations for the OpenRefine Lesson

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 or http://localhost:3333 to launch the program.

Basics of OpenRefine

You can find out a lot more about OpenRefine at http://openrefine.org and check out some great introductory videos. 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