The format of your research data files may be determined by the equipment, computer hardware, and/or software you use. In general, recommended file formats that best support sharing, reuse, preservation, and interoperability are non-proprietary, software-neutral, unencrypted, uncompressed, and in common use in the research communities.
When considering data file formats, you may want to evaluate the following:
Planning how you are going to name your files will help you organize and find the files and avoid mistakes or duplication. Suggested principles for developing a naming convention are as follows:
Harvard Medical School has provided helpful guidance on file naming conventions. Also, Kristin Briney at California Institute of Technology has created a worksheet to help researchers come up with naming conventions.