Importing data into OpenRefine

Overview

Teaching: 10 min
Exercises: 5 min
Questions
  • How do I get data into OpenRefine?

Objectives
  • Successfully import data into OpenRefine

Importing data

Please see Downloading Data on the Setup page http://data-lessons.github.io/library-openrefine/setup/

What kinds of data files can I import?

There are several options for getting your data set into OpenRefine. You can upload or import files in a variety of formats including:

  • TSV (tab-separated values)
  • CSV (comma-separated values)
  • Excel
  • JSON (javascript object notation)
  • XML
  • Google Spreadsheet

Create your first OpenRefine project (using provided data)

To import the data for the exercises below, run OpenRefine. NOTE: If OpenRefine does not open in a browser window, open your browser and type the address http://127.0.0.1:3333/ to take you to the OpenRefine interface.

  1. Locate the file which you have downloaded called doaj-article-sample.csv
  2. Click ‘Next’

Create project screen capture The next screen gives you some options to ensure that the data gets imported into OpenRefine correctly. The options vary depending on the type of data you are importing.

In this case you need to:

  1. Click in the ‘Character encoding’ box to set it to UTF-8
  2. Ensure the first row is used to create the column headings
  3. Make sure the ‘Parse cell text into numbers, dates‘ box is not checked, so OpenRefine doesn’t try to automatically detect numbers

    Once you are happy click theCreate Project >>button at the top right of the screen

    This will create the project and open it for you. Projects are saved as you work on them, there is no need to save copies as you go along.

To open an existing project in OpenRefine you can click ‘Open Project’ from the main OpenRefine screen (in the left hand menu). When you click this, you will see a list of the existing projects and can click on a project’s name to open it.

Going Further

Key Points

  • Use the ‘Create Project’ option to import data

  • You can control how data imports using options on the import screen