[metadataLibrarians] File naming--is this the place to ask?
ahutt at library.ucsd.edu
Fri Jan 27 10:05:56 PST 2006
I don't know if there is a "normally" for determining filenames. I think the most important things are to create a system that avoids name collisions (two files with the same name) and not to depend on metadata stored in filenames.
It can be useful to have meaningful filenames so that digitization can occur independently of description, and to make human processing of files easier, BUT, you shouldn't depend on the information stored in the name. If it's important information, it should be in a metadata record of some kind (which can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet to track digitization of materials). It sounds like the effort to put too much information into your file name might be what is making the decision difficult for your group.
Here's an excerpt from our local file naming guidelines which might be helpful:
A name the data producer gives to the file to distinguish it from other files the data producer has created. The name may incorporate some characteristic of the content, such as its predominant content or its call number, or the name may be completely arbitrary and devoid of any reference to characteristics of the file's content.
Arbitrary name patterns or sequences can easily be defined as part of a project plan, in order to avoid having to decide names at the moment of file creation.
It is important that identifying codes, such as a title abbreviation, be applied consistently, otherwise their identifying function may be undermined.
University of California, San Diego
>>> YBeever at austinisd.org 01/26/06 09:20AM >>>
Yes, I am putting in one metadata record (Dublin Core, currently) for each
item we're scanning in. This will include the full path to the physical
location of each item.
What's the simplest "formula" for a file name? I'm still a little unclear
how we separate the physical location with the file name-- I think I'm
still thinking too hard on this. I think of the file name as just a
pointer, like you said, but they keep bringing up the school name. Are
files normally just based on the collection name, or the folders under a
I understand the circles you are going in. The big question is if you are
going to tie in some metadata for each scan. You don't necessarily need so
much "descriptive metadata" in your file naming scheme if it is going to
point to something that has all the location information.
Does that make any sense?
Best of luck!
Suzanne C. Pilsk
PilskS at si.edu
Smithsonian Institution Libraries
PO Box 37012
Natural History Building, Room 30- MRC 0154
Washington, DC 20013-7012
Yvonne J. Beever
Austin Independent School District
ybeever at austinisd.org
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