The information on this page will help you organize your datasets for your own use. You may want to consider using more sophisticated name schema if you are collaborating or want to share your data. Researchers working together should agree on some basic rules for naming folders and files.
File Version Control
Keeping track of versions of documents and datasets is critical. Strategies include:
Record every change to a file no matter how small. Discard obsolete versions after making backups.
Directory Structure Naming Conventions
When organizing files, create a logical and manageable structure for your folders and subfolders. Clearly document the hierarchy rules and naming convention. Consider how people will need to search for files, how often new folders will need to be created, and the level of granularity. File naming best practices also apply to folder naming.
File Naming Conventions
The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (pdf) provides a helpful list of file naming best practices:
File Naming Conventions for Specific Disciplines
Many disciplines have recommendations, for example:
If you already have lots of files named, you can use free tools to help you: