Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research assembles first Data Carpentry Curriculum for Social Sciences researchers
30 May 2018
The Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research has taken a lead role in the development of the first Data Carpentry Curriculum for researchers outside of the life sciences.
The initial content for these lessons has been developed by CMI's Peter Smyth with the guidance of Rachel Gibson, Director of the Cathie Marsh Institute at the University of Manchester.
The initial content was polished during the April 2018 Bug BBQ event and finished by the lesson Maintainers in coordination with Carpentries staff.
The curriculum is focused on best practices for working with rectangular and tidy data and covers data organisation in spreadsheets, data cleansing using OpenRefine as well as data maniupation and visualisation with R.
Although not part of the initial release, lessons on SQL and Python are also available.
As with other materials for Data Carpentry, the same dataset is used across all the lessons. For this curriculum a simplified version of research datasets generated by the Studying African Farmer-led Irrigation research project has been used and is available on Figshare.
The dataset comprises survey data relating to households and agriculture in Tanzania and Mozambique. The survey data was collected through interviews conducted between November 2016 and June 2017 and covered such things as household features (e.g., construction materials used, number of household members), agricultural practices (e.g., water usage), assets (e.g., number and types of livestock) and details about the household members.