Skip to main content

Organising and describing data

Naming files and folders

You should use consistent, unique and descriptive file and folder names when saving research data. This will help you to keep track of your data files and share data among the team.

To achieve this, you should develop naming conventions that the team can follow.

These might include:

  • Version number
  • Project acronym
  • File status
  • Date
  • Topic
  • A set order of information eg YYYYMMDD for dates
  • Initials of researcher

You may need to use abbreviations when naming files and folders. Compile a table of abbreviations, if this is the case.

Make sure you do not use special characters.

Sample file name

The filename “ts_jsmith_2_intv_bp.docx” comprises:

  • the project acronym (ts)
  • name of subject (jsmith)
  • phase of activity (2)
  • type (interview or intv)
  • researcher initials (bp)