Participants will receive training on the foundational data science skills, which include technical skills and responsible research practices, to enable them to work with their research data in an ethical, effective, and efficient manner – as is required by 21st century research.

A Link to a PDF document with a detailed programme and URL Links to Resources will be added here once candidates have been selected.


You will have to make provision for sufficient bandwidth over the 5-week period to be able to participate. We’ll be providing instructions and lecture material in video and text and you will be required to gain access to research infrastructure that needs stable connections. For that reason, we would recommend making use of your university’s high-speed network if at all possible.

You are required to install a number of software programs onto your computer before the CODATA-RDA School of Research Data Science - South Africa (online) starts. We may add to this list but as a minimum requirement these should be installed before the School starts. An installation party will take place on 3-5 May 2023. Please make sure to download and install all the software in that week so we can assist should you run into any problems. Instructions are provided below the table. We have given instructions (for Linux, Mac and Windows operating systems) for the following software:

1 OpenRefine
2 Shell
3 Git
4 Web browsers
5 R
6 RStudio
7 Sciwheel
8 Weka

1. OpenRefine

(Please select only the option applicable to your computer)

For Linux OS:

Download OpenRefine 3.5.2 for Linux. Extract, then type ./refine to start. This requires Java to be installed on your computer.

For mac OS:

Download OpenRefine 3.5.2 for macOS. Open, drag icon into the Applications folder and double click on it. You do not need to install Java separately. If you do experience problems with 'unidentified developer' have a look at this advice [ ].

For Windows OS

Download OpenRefine 3.5.2 for Windows. Unzip, and double-click on openrefine.exe. If you’re having issues with the above, try double-clicking on refine.bat instead.

2. Shell


The default shell is usually Bash, but if your machine is set up differently, you can run it by opening a terminal and typing bash. There is no need to install anything.


The default shell in all versions of macOS is Bash, so no need to install anything. You access Bash from the Terminal (found in /Applications/Utilities).


Computers with Windows operating systems do not automatically have a Unix Shell program installed. Download the Git for Windows installer. Run the installer and follow the steps below:

  1. Click on "Next" four times (two times if you've previously installed Git). You don't need to change anything in the Information, location, components, and start menu screens.
  2. From the dropdown menu select "Use the nano editor by default" and click on "Next".
  3. Ensure that "Git from the command line and also from 3rd-party software" is selected and click on "Next". (If you don't do this, Git Bash will not work properly, requiring you to remove the Git Bash installation, re-run the installer and to select the "Git from the command line and also from 3rd-party software" option.)
  4. Ensure that "Use the native Windows Secure Channel library" is selected and click on "Next".
  5. Ensure that "Checkout Windows-style, commit Unix-style line endings" is selected and click on "Next".
  6. Ensure that "Use Windows' default console window" is selected and click on "Next".
  7. Ensure that "Enable file system caching" and "Enable Git Credential Manager" are selected and click on "Next".
  8. Click on "Install".
  9. Click on "Finish".
  10. If your "HOME" environment variable is not set (or you don't know what this is):
    1. Open command prompt (Open Start Menu, then type cmd, and press [Enter])
    2. Type the following line into the command prompt window exactly as shown:


  1. Press [Enter], you should see SUCCESS: Specified value was saved.
  2. Quit command prompt by typing exit then pressing [Enter]

This will provide you with both Git and Bash in the Git Bash program.

3. Git


If Git is not already available on your machine, you can try to install it via your distro's package manager. For Debian/Ubuntu run sudo apt-get install git and for Fedora run sudo dnf install git.


For OS X 10.9 and higher, install Git for Mac by downloading and running the most recent "mavericks" installer from this list []. Because this installer is not signed by the developer, you may have to right click (control click) on the .pkg file, click Open, and click Open on the pop up window. After installing Git, there will not be anything in your /Applications folder, as Git is a command line program. For older versions of OS X (10.5-10.8) use the most recent available installer labelled "snow-leopard".


Git should be installed on your computer as part of your Bash install (see previous section). No need to install any additional software for Git.

4. Web browser

The browser needs to be compatible with GitHub. We suggest that you install the latest version of Chrome OR Firefox OR Safari OR MS Edge.

5. R


You can download the binary files for your distribution from CRAN []. Or you can use your package manager (e.g. for Debian/Ubuntu run sudo apt-get install r-base and for Fedora run sudo dnf install R).


Install R by downloading and running the .pkg file from CRAN [].


Install the latest version of R by downloading and running this .exe file [ ] from CRAN. Note that if you have separate user and admin accounts, you should run the installers as administrator (right-click on the .exe file and select "Run as administrator" instead of double-clicking). Otherwise problems may occur later, for example when installing R packages.

6. RStudio

RStudio requires a 64-bit operating system. If you are on a 32-bit system, you can use an older version of RStudio


Download the latest version of RStudio for Linux by choosing the applicable distribution on this site.


Download the latest version of RStudio for macOS 10.12+ by clicking here.


Download the latest version of RStudio for Windows 10/8/7 by clicking here

7. Sciwheel

This is an web-based application that can be registered for and used from here. You can add the extension to your preferred browser. Make sure to also add the word processing add-in (e.g. if you use Windows and MS Office, you will add the Word add-in).

8. Weka


Click here to download a zip archive containing Weka. First unzip the zip file. This will create a new directory called weka-3-8-3. To run Weka, change into that directory and type java -jar weka.jar

Note that Java needs to be installed on your system for this to work. Also note, that using -jar will override your current CLASSPATH variable and only use the weka.jar.


Click here to download a disk image for OS X that contains a Mac application including Amazon's Corretto Java 1.8 JVM.


Click here to download a self-extracting executable for 64-bit Windows that includes Oracle's 64-bit Java VM 1.8. If you have a 32-bit system type, click here

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