4 Directory Structures

Last updated 2023-02-10

Now that we’ve covered naming conventions and have a sense of how our systems are organized around folder structures, let’s pretend that you store everything on your computer in a single folder–some of us are probably known to use our desktops for this. Imagine how long it would take you to find data you collected on a specific day a few years ago. Instead of keeping every document in a single place, we often organize our files using directory or folder structures. This helps us save precious time and improve our productivity.

One major aspect of Open Science is ensuring transparency in the research process. This includes sharing files from all the steps of the research lifecycle (i.e. a priori hypothesis, study design, data, analysis etc.) with others so that our research can be understood and replicated more easily.

The way we currently organize folders and files on our computer may make sense to us, but a problem arises when we need to share those folders and files with other people. A folder name that is meaningful for us may make no sense to another person. So let’s cover some conventions to help you organize the files on your computer in a way that is meaningful to both you and others.