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OpenRefine Resources

OpenRefine,, is a free, powerful, and easy-to-use tool for cleaning up and transforming datasets in order to prepare them for analysis and sharing. You will learn how to leverage OpenRefine’s interface and scripting language for basi

Introduction and Installation


OpenRefine is a tool for working with messy data;

  • Clean
  • Transform from one format into another
  • Extend with web services and external data
  • Formerly Freebase Gridworks and then Google Refine and formerly supported by Google until 10/02/2012

Rebranded as OpenRefine and supported by volunteers on a GitHub open source community.

With a simple tabular format, you can 

  • Get an overview of a data set
  • Resolve inconsistencies in a data set formats
  • Resolve inconsistencies in where data appears
  • Resolve inconsistencies in terminology used in the data
  • Split data up into more granular parts
  • Match local data up to other data sets
  • Enhance a data set with data from other sources


Installation Guide

You can download OpenRefine from ‘


  • Download zip file
  • unzip the downloaded file in any directory of choice. OpenRefine should run wherever you put the unzipped folder.


  • Download  ‘dmg’ (disk image) file and open it.
  • Drag the OpenRefine application to an appropriate folder.
OpenRefine is a java application, and you need to have a ‘java runtime environment’ (JRE) installed
To download and install JRE go to ‘’ and click ‘Free Java Download

Running OpenRefine


  • Navigate to folder where OpenRefine is unzipped
  • Double-click ‘openrefine.exe’


  • Open a terminal window
  • Navigate to folder where OpenRefine is unzipped
  • Type ‘./refine’


  • Navigate to location with OpenRefine
  • Click the OpenRefine icon

For more details on downloading, installing and running OpenRefine visit

University of Cincinnati Libraries

PO Box 210033 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0033

Phone: 513-556-1424

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