Why should you organize your data?
The organizational structure of your data can help secondary users of your data find, identify, select, and obtain the data they require.
How do you organize your data?
For best results, data structure should be fully modeled top-to-bottom/beginning-to-end in the planning phase of a project.
Here are some considerations when planning the organization of your data.
You'll want to devise ways to express the following:
What format should you use?
Formats which are more than likely to be accessible in the long-term are:
The University of Washington Libraries provides a list of preferred file formats.
Why is file naming important?
Think of a file name as a unique identifier for each of your files. Following a naming convention allows you to simplify the organization of your files and locate your files with ease, as well as making it easier for others to understand and reuse your data. This is particularly important when you are working on a collaborative project.
How should you name your file?
Here are some recommended best practices for naming your files:
How should files be structured?
Folder structure for your files can assist in the unique identification of the files contained within them. Consider the structure of the folders containing your data files before you begin to collect your data. Ideas for how to organize your folders include:
Data type (text, images, models, etc.)
Time (year, month, session, etc.)
Subject characteristic (species, age grouping, etc.)
Research activity (interview, survey, experiment, etc.)
Consider these examples of file naming and folder structure: