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Organizing Your Research Data

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This presentation provides a few simple strategies to improve your file organization and file naming, which will help you manage your research data better

This presentation provides a few simple strategies to improve your file organization and file naming, which will help you manage your research data better

Published in: Science

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  • 1. Organizing Your Data Kristin Briney, PhD Data Services Librarian
  • 2. justgrimes, https://www.flickr.com/photos/notbrucelee/8016192302 (CC BY-SA)
  • 3. http://retractionwatch.com/2014/01/07/doing-the-right-thing-authors-retract-brain-paper-with-systematic-human-error- in-coding/
  • 4. FILE ORGANIZATION & NAMING Dan Zen, http://www.flickr.com/photos/danzen/5551831155/ (CC BY)
  • 5. File Organization • What? – Keeping your files in order
  • 6. File Organization • Why? – Easier to find and use data – Tell, at a glance, what is done and what you have yet to do – Can still find and use files in the future
  • 7. File Organization • When? – Always! – Get in the habit of putting files in the right place
  • 8. File Organization • How? – Any system is better than none – Make your system logical for your data • 80/20 Rule – Possibilities • By project • By analysis type • By date • …
  • 9. Example • Thesis – By chapter • By file type (draft, figure, table, etc.) • Data – By researcher • By analysis type – By date
  • 10. File Organization • How? – Don’t forget to write your system down! • Front of your research notebook • In a README.txt document with your digital files • On a print out by your computer
  • 11. http://retractionwatch.com/2014/01/07/doing-the-right-thing-authors-retract-brain-paper-with-systematic-human-error- in-coding/
  • 12. File Naming Conventions • What? – Consistent naming for files – Also useful for physical samples
  • 13. File Naming Conventions • Why? – Make it easier to find files – Avoid duplicates – Make it easier to wrap up a project because you know which files belong to it
  • 14. File Naming Conventions • When? – For a group of related files (3 to 1000+) – May need different conventions for different groups
  • 15. File Naming Conventions • How? – Pick what is most important for your name • Date • Site • Analysis • Sample • Short description
  • 16. File Naming Conventions • How? – Files should be named consistently – Files names should be descriptive but short (<25 characters) – Use underscores instead of spaces – Avoid these characters: “ / : * ? ‘ < > [ ] & $ – Use the dating convention: YYYY-MM-DD
  • 17. Example • YYYYMMDD_site_sampleNum – 20140422_PikeLake_03 – 20140424_EastLake_12 • AuthorLastName-Year-Title – Smith-2010-ImpactOfStressOnSeaMonkeys – Hailey-1999-VeryImportantDNAStudy
  • 18. WHAT TO DO FROM HERE
  • 19. Chris Hoving, https://www.flickr.com/photos/pcrucifer/2433274595 (CC BY-ND)
  • 20. Data Services • uwm.edu/libraries/dataservices • Data Services Librarian – Kristin Briney
  • 21. Thank You! • This presentation available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license

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