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Research Data Management: Organize Data

Managing, preserving, and sharing research data.

Organize Data

Many of us have experienced a moment of dread when we discover that we have lost track of a file.  Where was it stored?  Who had access?  Which was the latest version?  All of these can lead to uncertainty and disorganization on research teams.

Consistent, unique, and intelligible file naming and version tracking are an integral part of good data organization. Additionally, the type of data generated, storage needs, and long-term preservation are important considerations in the selection of an appropriate format.

Before you begin a project establish a schema for your files and make sure everyone on the team knows and understands the system.  Create a README file accessible to everyone on the team that clearly specifies the folder/file structure.