Data Carpentry Workshop

Smithsonian Institution


May 19-20 and May 26-27, 2021

1 pm - 4 pm ET

Instructors: Amanda Devine, Bruno de Medeiros, Jen Hammock, Matt Kweskin, Paula Pappalardo

Helpers: Carlos Arias, Holly Little, Luis Villanueva, Tauana Cunha

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This workshop has unfortunately sold out. We will notify people on the waitlist if new slots open up. You can also go to and click the “Sign up for the Carpentries-announce mailing list” button to be alerted when future Smithsonian Carpentries workshops are announced.

General Information

Data Carpentry develops and teaches workshops on the fundamental data skills needed to conduct research. Its target audience is researchers who have little to no prior computational experience, and its lessons are domain specific, building on learners' existing knowledge to enable them to quickly apply skills learned to their own research. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Good Enough Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The workshp is for Smithsonian badge holders at any SI Unit working with research and collections data. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: This training will take place online. The instructors will provide you with the information you will need to connect to this meeting.

When: May 19-20 and May 26-27, 2021. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must have access to a computer with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below).

Accessibility: We are dedicated to providing a positive and accessible learning environment for all. Please notify the instructors in advance of the workshop if you require any accommodations or if there is anything we can do to make this workshop more accessible to you.

Contact: Please email for more information.

Roles: To learn more about the roles at the workshop (who will be doing what), refer to our Workshop FAQ.

Code of Conduct

Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct. This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.

Collaborative Notes

We will use this collaborative document for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Day 1 (May 19)

Spreadsheets & OpenRefine

Before starting Pre-workshop survey
1:00 PM ET Workshop Introduction
1:15 PM ET Data Organization in Spreadsheets
2:00 PM ET 10 min Break
2:10 PM ETOpenRefine for Data Cleaning
3:00 PM ET 10 min Break
3:10 PM ETOpenRefine for Data Cleaning (Continued)
4:00 PM ET END

Day 2 (May 20)

Querying Data with SQL

1:00 PM ET Previous Day Review and Question Session
1:15 PM ET Data Management with SQL
2:00 PM ET 10 min Break
2:10 PM ET Data Management with SQL (Continued)
3:00 PM ET 10 min Break
3:10 PM ET Data Management with SQL (Continued)
4:00 PM ET END

Day 3 (May 26)

Working with data with R

1:00 PM Previous Day Review and Question Session
1:15 PM Introduction to R and RStudio
2:00 PM ET 10 min Break
2:10 PM Starting with Data
3:00 PM 10 min Break
3:10 PM Starting with Data (Continued)
4:00 PM END

Day 4 (May 27)

Manipulating and Visualizing data with R

1:00 PM Previous Day Review and Question Session
1:15 PM Manipulating and analyzing data with dplyr
2:00 PM 10 min Break
2:10 PM Manipulating and analyzing data with dplyr (Continued)
3:00 PM ET 10 min Break
3:10 PM Data Visualization with ggplot2 (Continued)
3:40 PM Workshop wrap-up
4:00 PM END


To participate in a Data Carpentry workshop, you will need access to software as described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.

Install the videoconferencing client

If you haven't used Zoom before, go to the official website to download and install the Zoom client for your computer.

Set up your workspace

Like other Carpentries workshops, you will be learning by "coding along" with the Instructors. To do this, you will need to have both the window for the tool you will be learning about (a terminal, RStudio, your web browser, etc..) and the window for the Zoom video conference client open. In order to see both at once, we recommend using one of the following set up options:

This blog post includes detailed information on how to set up your screen to follow along during the workshop.

The setup instructions for the Data Carpentry Ecology workshops (with R) can be found at the workshop overview site.