It is important for you and your colleagues to decide how you will name and structure your research data files and folders early in the project planning process. Maintaining consistent file organisation strategies can save you lots of times and headaches, and it is to make sure you and others who need access to the research data can locate and understand it in different periods.
Do you ever have the same experience? Do not know where to find your data files? Do not remember the contents of the data files?
Source: PHD Comics
How can you store your data in folders systematically?
Define the types of data and file formats
Here are some examples:
Include important contextual information
When you are looking for a specific data file, how do you think about it? You may want to consider incorporating the following types of contextual information when you organise your data folders?
Creating a hierarchical file folder structure
Hierarchical file structures can make your file organisation more systematic.
Organise folders by meaningful categories
Based on the contextual information, you will be able to organise the folder in a more meaningful and systematic way. Here are some examples:
Develop a naming convention based on elements that are important to the project. It allows you and others who need access to the data find the files easily and track data records efficiently.
You may consider the following elements in your file conventions:
Here are some other tips:
You should be aware of the versioning of your research data when you save new copies of your file. Applying proper data versioning policies to your dataset will save a lot of time when you need to retrieve specific versions of your files in the future.
Here are some suggestions: