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Research life cycle: 2.Research phase: Folder structure

The importance of a good folder structure

A clear folder structure helps you to store all research data in a structured and consistent manner and to retrieve it quickly and efficiently.

Video: Folder structure best practices


A number of points to consider when creating a folder structure:

  • Do not create more than 3 to 4 levels
  • Chose logical categories (folder names)
    Folder names can be used to shorten file names, e.g.: 
    - file name: 20180129_InterviewpersonA_audio
    - becomes file name: 2018129_PersonA in the folder
  • Keep 'in progress' and 'completed' separate

Document your defined structure in your data management plan. For example:


   Bron: Parsons, G. (2017). Introduction to research data management:
             training presentation. Cranfield: Cranfield University. | Disclaimer | Over Zuyd Bibliotheek