The Bentley Historical Library will be closed November 23, 24, & 25 in observance of Thanksgiving

Naming Directories and Files

DIGITAL RECORDKEEPING BEST PRACTICES FOR DIRECTORY AND FILE NAMING

When setting up a digital file system it is important to consider establishing a scheme for directory and file name conventions. Having a scheme that is documented within an office or for person use facilitates the retrieval of documents because there is an established organization to the files and because the file names have descriptive elements that aid in their understandability. In addition to the benefits to current users of digital documents, a standard scheme is also important for the long-term usability of digital documents that are transferred to the archives.

DIRECTORY NAMING

Folders should be named for major functions/activities
Structure subfolders by year
Folder names should be self-explanatory
Avoid personal names
Avoid duplication
Keep it simple and consistent

FILE NAMING

Use descriptive names to identify the content/purpose of files
Avoid illegal characters: > < ” / \ | ? * : ^ $ (These characters may have special meanings in operating systems.)
Avoid spaces in files names (due to problems with browsers and some operating systems):

Use underscores between words (i.e. faculty_meeting_minutes)
Capitalize the first letter of each word (i.e. FacultyMeetingMinutes)
Include date of creation or revision
International Standard Organiztion (ISO) standard 8601 allows different formats: YYYY-MM-DD or YYYYMMDD
Examples: 2012-01-26 or 20110602
Employ consistent conventions for version control:
FNL=final
DFT=draft
1.0 or vers2=version of document
Examples:
FacultyMeetingMinutes20110323.docx
20110323facultymeetingminutes.docx
Eng_316_Course_Proposal_2011-01-23_DFT.docx