Library:Circle/File Naming Conventions

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cIRcle File Naming Conventions

Overview

This document provides guidelines on the naming of non-thesis files in cIRcle. File names for UBC theses and dissertations are determined by the Faculty of Graduate Studies cIRcle Instructions page. Please use the cIRcle Contact Us form if you have any questions.

Key Concept: Readable File Names

Consistently using a file naming convention is an essential component of the long term preservation of digital records. File names should be both human-readable and machine-readable, meaning that the people and computer software interacting with cIRcle files are able to recognize and understand the file names. If a file name is not human-readable (e.g. lacks a descriptive name), content may be lost or accidentally overwritten. If a file name is not machine-readable (e.g. contains spaces or unsupported special characters), computer software may fail to open the file rendering it unusable.

The naming guidelines that follow are designed to provide files with concise yet descriptive names that help ensure content can be found, opened, and maintained for as long as possible.

Guiding Principles for Non-Thesis File Names in cIRcle

  • It is strongly recommended that characters be restricted to letters, numbers and _ (underscore) only
  • Avoid using special characters in file names. Not all operating systems support special characters and using them may result in your file not displaying properly and/or negatively impact the long term preservation of your material. More information on why you should avoid special characters and file names is available from Iowa State University Library https://instr.iastate.libguides.com/datashare/filenames [1]
    • If you choose to use special characters despite negative impacts (e.g. to maintain a non-English spelling of a personal name or term) ensure that they are at least Unicode Standard characters or UTF-8 encoded.
  • Do not use spaces in file names. Use _ (underscore) to separate words
  • Avoid using stop words where possible (a, an, the, if, but, so, for, etc.)
  • Use unique file names
  • File names of less than 50 characters are recommended

Individual(s) as Author

Single Author

  • Separate last name and first initial using underscore _
  • Use capital letters for last name and first initial
  • Use the last name followed by the first name initial only
  • Add first three or four significant words of title
  • Add year of item creation
Example
Author: Lorenz Yeung
Title: Assessment of Barriers Contributing to Presentation of Breast Cancer Patients in Jamaica
Year: 2020
cIRcle file name format: Yeung_L_SURG 560_Assessment_breast_cancer_Jamaica_2020.pdf  

Multiple Authors

  • Separate last name and first initial using underscore _
  • Use capital letters for last name and first initial
  • Use the name of the first author only
  • Include the last name followed by the first name initial only
  • Include “_et_al” after the first author’s name
  • Add first three or four significant words in title
  • Add year of item creation
Example
Authors: Chan, Richie; Chen, Daniel; Chai, Lisa; Chen, Wendy
Title: 不能喝涼水 – Don’t drink cold water
Year: 2021
cIRcle file name format: Chan_R_et_al_ACAM320B_Dont_drink_cold_water_2021.mp3

Agency/Organization as Author

Unique/Non-Unique Title

  • Separate words using underscore _
  • Use the item's title for the file name (if unique)
  • Add year of item creation
  • If there are other cIRcle entries or file names with the same name, include additional identifiers to distinguish between file names (e.g. authors, version, edition, etc.
Example
Author: Vancouver Coastal Health Authority; Nurses’ Bargaining Association BC; Fraser Health Authority; University of British Columbia School of Nursing; British Columbia Nurses' Union; Educator Pathway Project; University of Victoria School of Nursing
Title: Preparing a nursing workforce to advance health services : a 3-year project to build nursing educator capacity in the health authorities (Final report)
Year: 2011

cIRcle file name format for unique title: Preparing_nursing_workforce_2011.pdf
cIRcle file name format for non-unique title: Vancouver_Coastal_Health_Preparing_nursing_workforce_2021.pdf

Title

Brief Title

  • If the title is brief, the full title can be listed (omit stop words)
  • Capitalize first letter of first word in title
Example
Author: Jean-François Roof
Title: Practicum report : Fall 2011
Date: Fall 2011
cIRcle file name format: Roof_J-F_Practicum_report_Fall_2011.pdf

Long Title

  • If the title is too long, use the first three or four significant words only
  • Capitalize first letter of first word in title
Example
Authors: Vann Chau; Kenneth J. Poskitt; Deborah E. McFadden; Tim Bowen-Roberts; Anne Synnes; Rollin Brant; Michael A. Sargent; Wendy Soulikias; Steven P. Miller
Title: Effect of chorioamnionitis on brain development and injury in premature newborns
Year: 2021
cIRcle file name format: Chau_V_et_al_Effect_chorioamnionitis_brain_2021.pdf

Coursework

  • Separate words using underscore
  • Use capital letters for last name and first initial
  • Include the last name followed by the first initial
  • Add the course name and number
  • Add first two to three significant words of title
  • Add the year the course was taken
Example
Authors: Tsuba Shima
Title: The Healthy Immigrant Effect and LGBTQ+ Asian Canadians
Course: ACAM 320B
Year: 2022
cIRcle file name format: Shima_T_ACAM320B_Healthy_immigrant_effect_2022.pdf

Date

It is generally not necessary to include a full date (YYYYMMDD) in the file name; providing the year is usually sufficient and may be the only date information available for a particular item. There are some instances, however, where a date is included to differentiate between items with the same title that repeat annually such as a congregation or when a file has been revised:

Recurring Titles

  • Date format for recurring titles requiring a full date: YYYYMMDD
Example
Author: President Stephen Toope
Title: 2007 Fall Congregation
Date: November 21, 2007
cIRcle file name format: Toope_S_President_Fall_congregation_20071121.pdf


Revised Titles

  • Date format for revised titles: rev_YYYYMMDD
Example
Author: Angela Bonilla Gomez; Megan Gelb; Ian Judson; Jacob Rodgers
Title: A systematic review of the literature examining choice programs and issues of equity within public education
Year: 2012
Revised: October 27, 2020
cIRcle file name format (original file): Gomez_A_et_al_Systemic_review_literature_2012.pdf
cIRcle file name format (revised file): Gomez_A_et_al_Systemic_review_literature_rev_20201027.pdf


cIRcle License File Names (for Collection Administrators Only)

Licenses for cIRcle are typically handled by the cIRcle Office. If you are an authorized Collection Administrator who has received training in license management from the cIRcle Office, please use the following format for file names containing licenses.

Single Author

  • Use capital letters for first and last name
  • Include the last name followed by first name initial
  • Separate words using underscore
  • Add “cIRcle_License”
  • Add year of license receipt by cIRcle
Example
Author: Tsuba Shima
cIRcle file name format: Shima_T_cIRcle_License_2022.pdf


Multiple Authors

  • Use the name of the first author only
  • Include last name first followed by the first name initial
  • Separate words using underscore
  • Include “_et_al” after the first author’s name
  • Add “cIRcle_License”
  • Add year of license receipt by cIRcle
Example
Author: Brodie, Bailey; Law, Angela; Repole, Giulia; Rudy, Merlena; Tani, Christina
cIRcle file name format: Brodie_B_et_al_cIRcle_License_2020.pdf


Multiple Titles by a Single Author

If an author will have multiple items added to cIRcle, it can be helpful to differentiate licenses by including title information. This, however, is not strictly necessary because our license retention workflow ensures that each license is attached to its corresponding record(s) in cIRcle. If you would like to include extra information in the filename, you can use the following template; otherwise, the license file naming conventions for a single author will suffice.

  • Use capital letters for first and last name
  • Last name first
  • Add first two significant words of title
  • Separate words using underscore
  • Add “cIRcle License”
  • Add year of license receipt by cIRcle
Example
Author: Erin Fields
Title: Feminist podcasting : delivering scholarship outside the university walls
cIRcle file name format: Fields_Erin_Feminist_podcasting_cIRcle_License_2021.pdf
Author: Erin Fields
Title: Liaising in the between : a plan for interdisciplinary outreach
cIRcle file name format: Fields_Erin_Liasing_plan_cIRcle_License_2021.pdf


Please use the cIRcle Contact Us form if you have any questions.

References