Records Management Section
The University of Edinburgh Records Management Section
 

Standard Naming Conventions For Electronic Records: The Rules

The conventions comprise the following 13 rules. Follow the links for examples and explanations of the rules.

  1. Keep file names short, but meaningful.
  2. Avoid unnecessary repetition and redundancy in file names and file paths.
  3. Use capital letters to delimit words, not spaces or underscores.
  4. When including a number in a file name always give it as a two-digit number, i.e. 01-99, unless it is a year or another number with more than two digits.
  5. If using a date in the file name always state the date ‘back to front’, and use four digit years, two digit months and two digit days: YYYYMMDD or YYYYMM or YYYY or YYYY-YYYY.
  6. When including a personal name in a file name give the family name first followed by the initials.
  7. Avoid using common words such as ‘draft’ or ‘letter’ at the start of file names, unless doing so will make it easier to retrieve the record.
  8. Order the elements in a file name in the most appropriate way to retrieve the record.
  9. The file names of records relating to recurring events should include the date and a description of the event, except where the inclusion of any of either of these elements would be incompatible with rule 2.
  10. The file names of correspondence should include the name of the correspondent, an indication of the subject, the date of the correspondence and whether it is incoming or outgoing correspondence, except where the inclusion of any of these elements would be incompatible with rule 2.
  11. The file name of an email attachment should include the name of the correspondent, an indication of the subject, the date of the correspondence, ‘attch’, and an indication of the number of attachments sent with the covering email, except where the inclusion of any of these elements would be incompatible with rule 2.
  12. The version number of a record should be indicated in its file name by the inclusion of ‘V’ followed by the version number and, where applicable, ‘Draft’.
  13. Avoid using non-alphanumeric characters in file names.

Author: Anne Thompson
Version 10, July 2007


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