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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Research data management

Structure files

Recommendations for directory structure and file naming.

The following should be considered when structuring your folders and files:

  • Create a clear directory structure and maintain it
  • Control the file versions
    • Discard obsolete versions if no longer needed after making backups
    • Use version control software for support (Computer and Media Service gives advice)
  • Create file naming conventions
    • Document all naming conventions or abbreviations used (e.g. in your datamanagement plan)
    • Examples:
      [Sediment]_[Sample]_[Instrument]_[YYYYMMDD].dat
      [Experiment]_[Reagent]_[Instrument]_[YYYYMMDD].csv
      [Experiment]_[Setup]_[Test subject]_[YYYYMMDD].sav
      [Project]_[Interview]_[Place]_[Person-ID]_[YYYYMMDD].mp4
      etc.
    • Use date/time stamps or a separate ID (e.g. v1.0.0) for each version
    • Date/time stamps should be ar the beginning or end of the file name to facilitate sorting
    • Avoid special characters like { } [ ] < > ( ) * % # ‘ ; “ , : ? ! & @ $ ~
    • Use underscores (_) or capitals of the first letter to separate names