Research data files and folders need to be labelled and organised in a systematic and consistent way so that they are easy to find, both for you and others in your research team. There is no one recommended way to name your files and folders, but you should be consistent. If you work as part of a research group you should decide on a file and folder naming system with your colleagues. Below are suggested file and folder naming conventions:
Although all operating systems have in-built tools for managing files, there are software tools that can organise research data files and folders in a consistent and automated way through batch renaming (also known as mass file renaming, bulk renaming). Batch renaming software exists for most operating systems.
There are many situations where batch renaming may be useful, such as:
Examples of bulk renaming tools include:
Jeff Haywood talking about the importance of good file management in research.
For a detailed description of file naming standards and procedures, consult JISC Digital Media – Choosing a File Name
Digital Science has recently developed Projects, an application that lets researchers safely manage and organize their research data on the desktop. It provides a visual timeline to make finding files easy, backup functionality to help seamlessly recover previous versions of files, annotation features and a structured hierarchy to encourage users to organise their files. (Link also to Tools and Tutorials)
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