Naming Conventions

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Impact Evaluation projects should follow a clear naming convention as all the files in the project will be used throughout the project duration. Since over the course of an impact evaluation project, personnel doing research, or on the field might change, it is very important to use a naming convention that not only you understand but someone looking at the files after years also understands.

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  • Use version control softwares(Box, Dropbox, or Github) instead of naming the folders _v01, _v02, old, new, etc. Output tables, graphs, and documentations are an exception to this and it is good practice to date them. Instead of using versions, they should be dated for clarity. For example = "_2017June8" rather than "_v02".

Version Control

It is generally recommended to use the Box/Dropbox or Github version control feature instead of naming the folders _v01, _v02, _old, _new, _final, etc. The only exception to this would be tables, graphs, and documentations and it is good practice to date those. For these kinds of files, it should be dated i.e. filename_2017June08 rather than filename_v02.

Using Box / Dropbox Version Control features

Box and Dropbox are both file hosting/cloud storage services which provide version control features.

Important : It is important that you pay attention to your subscription of DropBox/Box when using them for version control as they only store previous versions for certain time. For example - Free Dropbox stores different versions of a files from the last 30 days. Similarly, Box does not allow users with free accounts to access versions of their files.

More information on Dropbox's version control, here are some useful links on recovering older versions of a file, version history information, and extended version history for Dropbox Pro users.

More information on Box's version control, the number of histories saved, and tracking older versions can be found here.

Using Github

Github is an excellent tool used for version control for documentation, and do files. It also allows users to collaborate on codes together making it easier for multiple people to work on the same code. More information on what Github does and how to get started with Github can be found here.


The same impact evaluation folder is going to be used throughout the course of the impact evaluation project. So it is important to follow the same steps throughout the whole project.

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This article is part of the topic Data Management

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