Library Carpentry: OpenRefine

This Library Carpentry lesson introduces people working in library- and information-related roles to working with data in OpenRefine. At the conclusion of the lesson you will understand what the OpenRefine software does and how to use the OpenRefine software to work with data files.


To complete this lesson you will need to:

  1. Install OpenRefine or use it through a cloud service
  2. Download a data file
  3. Use a supported browser

See our setup page for more information.


Setup Download files required for the lesson
00:00 1. Introduction to OpenRefine What is OpenRefine? What can it do?
00:15 2. Importing data into OpenRefine How do I get data into OpenRefine?
00:30 3. Layout of OpenRefine, Rows vs Records How is data organised in OpenRefine?
How do I access options to amend data in OpenRefine?
What is the difference between Rows and Records in OpenRefine?
How do I work with single cells that contain multiple values in a list?
00:45 4. Faceting and filtering What is a facet in OpenRefine?
What is a filter in OpenRefine?
How can I use filters and facets to explore data in OpenRefine?
How can I correct common data issues in my data with OpenRefine?
01:05 5. Clustering What is Clustering in OpenRefine and when would you use it?
How does clustering work in OpenRefine?
01:25 6. Working with columns and sorting How do I move, rename or remove columns in OpenRefine?
How do I sort data in OpenRefine?
01:35 7. Introduction to Transformations How do I use transformations to programmatically edit my data?
What are the kind of transformations Open Refine supports?
What is GREL?
01:45 8. Writing Transformations Where do I write GREL expressions in the OpenRefine interface?
How do I write a valid GREL expression?
02:00 9. Transformations - Undo and Redo How do the Undo and Redo features work?
02:05 10. Transforming Strings, Numbers, Dates and Booleans How do I use transformations to programmatically edit my data?
How do I transform the various data types?
02:25 11. Transformations - Handling Arrays How do I use Arrays in data transformation?
02:45 12. Exporting data How do I export data from OpenRefine?
02:50 13. Looking Up Data How do I fetch data from an Application Programming Interface (API) to be used in OpenRefine?
How do I reconcile my data by comparing it to authoritative datasets
How do I install extensions for OpenRefine
03:20 Finish

The actual schedule may vary slightly depending on the topics and exercises chosen by the instructor.