Practicing good file naming behaviors can save a researcher time and headaches when searching through data files. File naming is a framework for naming your files in a way that describes what they contain. Having a clear naming convention – before you begin – helps you stay organized (and it’s easier!). Remember that your file naming convention should be consistent between research collaborators. Below is a list of file naming best practices to follow:
Version control clearly distinguishes between individual versions of specific files and is important to research projects both big and small. Proper version control practices ensures the ability to track any differences, prevent unauthorized file modification, and prevents the loss of information. At its best, it preserves data authenticity. Below is a list of version control best practices to follow:
Structuring your data folders in a clear and consistent way makes it easier to locate your data. Good practices make it easier to organize files and version. All relevant material to the data should be included in the project folder. Included in the folder should be detailed information on data collection and/or processing procedures, if that is relevant to the project. Project folders can be structured by activities, by data types, and/or by materials.