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Introduction to Digital File Management

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A 15 minute presentation on best practices in digital file management presented at the University of Utah All-Staff meeting on August 19, 2015.

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Introduction to Digital File Management

  1. 1. Introduction to Digital File Management Rebekah Cummings, Research Data Management Librarian Marriott Library All-Staff August 19, 2015
  2. 2. Digital files are messy
  3. 3. “MyData.xls” “MeetingNotes.doc” “Presentation.ppt” “Assignment1.pdf”
  4. 4. File naming best practices 1.Be descriptive 2.Don’t be generic 3.Appropriate length 4.Be consistent 5.Think critically about your file names
  5. 5. File naming best practices • Files should include only letters, numbers, and underscores/dashes. • No special characters • No spaces; Use dashes or camel case (like-this or likeThis) • Not all systems are case sensitive. Assume this,THIS, and tHiS are the same.
  6. 6. Version Control - Numbering Use leading zeros for scalability 001 002 003 … 009 010 … 099 1 10 2 3 9 99 Without zeros
  7. 7. Version Control - Dates If using dates useYYYYMMDD June2015 = BAD! 06-18-2015 = BAD! 20150618 = GREAT! 2015-06-18 = This is fine too 
  8. 8. File organization best practices • In a perfect world, top level folders should be mutually exclusive and exhaustive. • Sub-structure should have a clear and consistent naming convention. • Document your folder structure in a README text file.
  9. 9. README files
  10. 10. Want additional training? • Marriott Library Workshop – “Organized Research Through Better Data Management” – August 31st ; 2-3 pm; Rm. 1170 • Staff Training Workshop – “Digital File Management” – September 30th , 2-3pm, Staff Training Lab

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