File Naming and Organization

Well-organized structures and consistent file names make it easier to keep track of and organize files, and are necessary for IDEP workflows. When naming and organizing files, you should be consistent and ordered so that files are easily identified and sort properly. Set up a clear directory structure and file naming convention that follows a pattern like project identifier + grouping (like date or volume) + some type of unique identifier.

Structuring Data

Think carefully about how best to structure your data from the very earliest stages of your project. Try to keep a shallow hierarchy (no deep nesting of folders). Individual directories may be grouped by a number of different criteria, including date, format, sub-collection, or whatever categories make the most sense for your project.

Some examples of data structures include organization by:

File Names

File names should allow you to identify files with precision from the name. Choose a format for naming your files and use it consistently. Include in the name the information that will allow you to distinguish your files from one another, following a pattern like project identifier + grouping (like date or volume) + some type of item identifier. Notice how the elements move from general to specific. Some of the elements to consider include:

Some best practices:

Other Tips

Include a README.txt file in the directory that explains your naming format along with any abbreviations or codes you have used. This documentation will be helpful both during the project or experiment, and also in the future.