2D + 3D CAD Design

Research Data Management at #Princeto

An overview of best practices for managing research data

File naming

Descriptive file names are an important part of organizing, sharing, and keeping track of data files. Develop a naming convention based on elements that are important to the project.

File naming best practices:

  • Files should be named consistently
  • File names should be short but descriptive (<25 characters) (Briney, 2015)
  • Avoid special characters or spaces in a file name
  • Use capitals and underscores instead of periods or spaces or slashes
  • Use date format ISO 8601: YYYYMMDD
  • Include a version number (Creamer et al. 2014)
  • Write down naming convention in data management plan

Elements to consider using in a naming convention are:

  • Date of creation (putting the date in the front will facilitate computer aided date sorting)
  • Short Description
  • Work
  • Location
  • Project name or number
  • Sample
  • Analysis
  • Version number




File structure

Heirarchical file structures can add additional organization to your files. As with file naming use whatever makes most sense for your data. Some possiblities include:

  • Project
  • Date
  • Analysis
  • Location

For more on file structure, versioning, and a bonus preview of metadata and documentation, watch the Software Carpentry video on Data management