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Naming Conventions for Electronic Records


  • Relevant information at a glance.
  • Easy access for a variety of users.
  • Shorter search time for the latest version.

File Name Recommendations

  • Include common identifying elements:
    • Date of creation. Standardize the format (e.g. YYYYMMDD). Beginning with the date allows for chronological sorting.
    • Name of intended audience (e.g. person or group).
    • Description of content. Use keywords and mirror your paper filing system as closely as possible.
    • Version. Append the file name when changes are made (e.g. v1), include initials at the end to identify authorship.
  • Use capital letters or underscores, not spaces or periods, to separate words as those can be mistranslated across platforms.
  • Avoid using special characters: \ /:*?”<>|[]&$,. As these may mean different things in various electronic environments (e.g. PC, Mac).
  • Keep it short.

Finally, be consistent with file names throughout your system to maximize organization and efficiency.