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Cloud File Storage for Clients

We're revamping and reorganizing a client's cloud file storage and back-ups. We think it's a good time to bring up some points. When setting up FNCs (file naming conventions), these are some best practices you should consider:

Organization by:

  • Project or experiment name or acronym

  • Location/spatial coordinates

  • Date or date range of experiment

  • Type of data

  • Conditions

  • Version number of file

  • Three-letter file extension for application-specific files

Another good idea is to include a txt file directory that explains your naming format along with any abbreviations or codes used.


  • Date designations are YYYYMMDD or YYMMDD. This format makes sure all files stay in chronological order, even over the span of years.

  • Try not to make file names too long, since long file names do not work well with all types of software.

  • Special characters such as ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) ` ; < > ? , [ ] { } ' " and | should be avoided.

  • When using a sequential numbering system, using leading zeros for clarity and to make sure files sort in sequential order. For example, use "001, 002, ...010, 011 ... 100, 101, etc." instead of "1, 2, ...10, 11 ... 100, 101, etc."

  • Do not use spaces. Some software will not recognize file names with spaces, and file names with spaces must be enclosed in quotes when using the command line. Other options include:

  • Underscores, e.g.

  • Dashes, e.g.

  • No separation, e.g.

  • Camel case, where the first letter of each section of text is capitalized, e.g.

That's it! Good luck on all your file organization and file mapping!

- The Boley Group

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