File Organization is an important part of the planning and conduct of any research project. Setting up file directories and naming files properly can save an enormous amount of time later on. It is important to be clear and consistent in your choices with regard to naming conventions, and to consider the overall organizational structure of your research data. Consider, especially, the following elements:
It is wise to consider your approach to data documentation and metadata at the planning stage, during the active data collection stage and when archiving / storing data. Version control is required to ensure the authenticity of research data -- working with outdated versions wastes valuable research time and puts data at risk.
Data cleaning (or "wrangling") is often required to prepare data for analysis and/or visualization, and for (where appropriate) when publishing and sharing data. This process identifies and corrects errors or makes formatting more consistent.
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