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opentsv prevents the corruption of scientific data by Excel

By De Rijk Peter, Svenn D’Hert, Mojca Strazisar

Posted 16 Dec 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/497370

Microsoft Excel is widely used by researchers to edit tab- or comma-separated data files. However, Excel often corrupts the data when opening these files, most notably by changing some gene names to a date. Although this problem was cautioned against earlier, we show that every year hundreds of published papers still come with supplementary data files containing these errors. Opentsv was developed to effectively circumvent this problem at the root by providing an easy and transparent way to open delimited data files in Excel without these conversions. Opentsv is freely available at <https://github.com/derijkp/opentsv>.

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