Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Data management for students: Filenames

Filenames

Besides having a clear folder structure, it is important to give your files clear and consistent names. A good filename provides information about the content, status and version of the file, making it easy to identify and retrieve. To get a good and workable filename structure, you could use a 'File naming convention worksheet', see this worksheet (Briney, Kristin A., 2020).

Tips:

  • Ensure you are consistent in naming files and that everyone, when working together on a project, uses the same structure. 
  • The file name must be independent of the file's location on your computer so that when you move the file to another folder, it does not conflict with another file. 
  • Use clear but short filenames (preferably max. 32 characters).
  • Useful elements in a filename can be an (abbreviated or encoded) indication of the content, date (in the format YYYYY-MM-DD to organize files chronologically), name of the creator and version number. 
  • Avoid spaces, dots and special characters (e.g. &, !, ?, *, #). Use hyphens (-) or a dash (_) to separate the different elements in your filename.
  • If you have multiple versions of a file, specify the version in the filename.