3.2 File Naming

 We provide some principles here on file naming:

  • Keep the pattern consistent.  We suggest starting with the ISO 639-3 code followed by the date of creation. If the creation date is unknown, use the date of acquisition.
  • Keep file name short.  The file name should not be the place where you store all possible metadata.  That information should be on a separate list that is linked to your file name.
  • Use numerical forms including leading zeros (01, 02 OR 001, 002) so that files will be sorted automatically by the computer.

Here is an example of a file name which provides four types of information, going from general information to more specific.

  1. ISO 639-3 code (3 characters)
  2. Date of creation (YYYY-MM-DD) (10 characters)
  3. Number of the recording for that day (_001) (4 characters)
  4. File type extension (e.g., .wav, .mp4., .pdf, .txt, .eaf) (4 characters, automatically generated by your computer)

Here is an example:  lmk2018-09-21_01.wav

You may create additional files based on this file such as transcriptions or translations. These would be named as follows:

  • If you have a transcription of a recording:  lmk2018-09-21_01.txt
  • If you have an ELAN transcription of a recording:  lmk2018-09-21_01.eaf
  • If you have an PRAAT annotation grid:  lmk2018-09-21_01.textgrid
  • If you have a FLEx interlinear gloss file:  lmk2018-09-21_01.flextext

The exact file naming convention you use will differ from project to project.  We suggest keeping the name short (20 characters or less), consistent, and focused on chronology.

Next we demonstrate a method to organize these files into folders.