Finding data that you or your colleagues have created can be challenging as your data and files increase over time. They can very quickly become disorganised and unmanageable if the proper data organisation is not in place.
It is worth investing some time at the start of a project to plan how you will name and structure your files and folders. Good folder organisation and file naming strategy will help you to quickly find the files you need, to easily understand what a particular data file is and what it contains, and to differentiate between different files and different versions of the same file.
A logical folder structure facilitates access to your files and avoid duplication. Here are some tips on creating a file folder hierarchy:
Example Folder Structure
Here is an example from the UK Data Service, data and documentation files are held in separate folders.
Data files are further organised according to data type and then according to research activity.
Documentation files are organised also according to type of documentation file and research activity.
File names should provide context for the files that they name, and distinguish them from files that may be similar.
Best practices include:
Version control involves a process of naming and distinguishing between a series of draft documents which lead to a final (or approved) version.
(Source: NC State University Libraries)