NNLM Data Carpentry (for Social Scientists)

Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) Region 1 and Region 2

October 25-26, 2023

9:00 am - 4:00 pm EST

Instructors: Ken Mbuki, Lyrric Jackson, Sanjay Fuloria

Helpers: Christine Nieman Hislop, Elizabeth Roth, Nina Exner, Justin de la Cruz, Amy Yarnell

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 course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

When: October 25-26, 2023. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop 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 committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody.

Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop and large-print handouts are available if needed by notifying the organizers in advance. If we can help making learning easier for you (e.g. sign-language interpreters, lactation facilities) please get in touch (using contact details below) and we will attempt to provide them.

Contact: Please email cnieman@hshsl.umaryland.edu or rothel@musc.edu 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

Before starting Pre-workshop survey
9:15am EST Data Organization in Spreadsheets
10:30am EST Morning Break
10:45am EST OpenRefine for Data Cleaning
12:45pm EST Lunch Break
1:30pm ESTIntroduction to R
2:45pm EST Afternoon Break
3:00pm ESTStarting with Data
3:55pm EST END

Day 2

9:05 am EST Data Wrangling with dplyr
11:00am EST Morning Break
11:15am ESTData Wrangling with tidyr
12:45pm EST Lunch Break
1:30pm ESTData Wrangling with tidyr
2:45pm EST Afternoon Break
3:00pm ESTData Visualisation with ggplot2
3:55pm EST Post-workshop survey


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.

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