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Help & guidance Instructions for Depositors

File naming

File names contain contextual information about the file and should be considered from the very outset of a project. It is important that your Data Management Plan defines your file naming system and all project members are familiar with the system.

The ADS will only accept files that abide by the following file naming conventions.

ADS file naming conventions

Individual file names should be unique within a dataset.

File names should only use:

    • alpha-numeric characters (a-z 0-9)
    • hyphen (-)
    • underscore (_)

File names should not use any other special characters such as £ % $ / or full stops and commas.

Upper and lower case characters can be used but:

    • keep files within your project consistent,
    • ensure supplied documentation accurately reflects the case of your filenames,
    • CAPITALS are difficult to read and can affect ordering.

Files must have a file extension:

    • normally 3 characters long,
    • should be lowercase.


For information on version control during your project see our file naming and version control guidance in our data management guide.