CS&S is proud to welcome OpenRefine to our Sponsored Projects Program! CS&S will be working with OpenRefine, supported by a recent $200k grant, to grow the community and revamp the core architecture (and they are looking for feedback in how to best accomplish this).

OpenRefine is a “powerful tool for working with messy data: cleaning it; transforming it from one format into another; and extending it with web services and external data”. Used by scientists, journalists, and librarians to wrangle messy data, OpenRefine will support the mission of CS&S to improve the public's ability to use and understand data.

OpenRefine is one of the most mature and widely used data cleaning and wrangling tools available. Originally known as Freebase Gridworks, the tool was designed primarily to support the Freebase database and community. Since then, they have grown to support a broader community and be a key part of the work of anyone trying to understand messy data. You can learn more about the OpenRefine community from their 2018 community survey. They recently received a WikidataCon 2019 Award in the Editing category. OpenRefine has been used to perform millions of Wikidata edits, either directly from OpenRefine or via QuickStatements.

OpenRefine is looking for new feedback on their 2020 user survey, if you already use this tool please fill it out and share!

OpenRefine contributor & Lead Dev on the EOSS grant, Antonin at the WikiTechStorm 2019. By Mx Lucy - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0


We are pleased to announce that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) has awarded OpenRefine a $200,000 grant to fund its development in 2020. This award is part of CZI’s Essential Open Source Software for Science program which awarded $5 million to over 40 projects.

This grant will be used to achieve two main objectives:

  • Grow the community of OpenRefine contributors by reaching out to seasoned users and helping them get involved more closely in the project.
  • Revamp the core architecture of the tool to handle larger datasets and improve workflows.

CS&S’ Sponsored Projects Program supports open source, public interest technology projects through financial administration and assisting project teams with practical and strategic support. OpenRefine — as an open source data tool with a large user community across science, civic tech, libraries, and other public interest spaces — fits CS&S’ mission to advance collaboration and open data. We look forward to supporting OpenRefine in 2020!