I’m extremely honored that Caltech Library won a 2023 DataWorks! prize from FASEB/NIH. These awards recognize efforts that promote data sharing and reuse in biological and biomedical research.
The Library won our award for my file naming convention worksheet, which first appeared on this blog in 2020. I’m amazed by the large scale projects that the other winners have put together but I’m also glad to see a small thing, like consistent and descriptive file naming, being recognized as important for data reuse.
File naming conventions are one of my favorite things to teach to new researchers because they are free to use and can have a big impact on the ability to find and reuse data. A good file naming system lets you easily find a specific file, disambiguate related files, and tell what’s in a file at a glance. Consistent and descriptive naming is especially helpful for collaborative research.
I can wax poetic about file naming for days, but I would rather you check out the worksheet and create a useful file naming convention for yourself. Trust me, your future self will appreciate it.