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Strategic Leadership Studies

This guide will help graduate students in the SSLS program with their research.

Cite your sources

JMU resources for help

Name your files smartly

Carefully choosing file names that are informative and useful saves you time when researching. Consider these examples:

Files without employing an naming convention:
  • marketing mix FINAL
  • MGT-week2
  • 908AF84F-8C23-33CC-8701-2B9ABA59E939​
  • Content (1)
  • Meeting Notes Oct 23
Files with a naming convention:
  • 20180115_MGT555_BeverageDispenser_Smith.pdf
  • 20180115_MGT555_ConsumerExpenditures_BLS.xlsx
  • 20180201_MKT592_RestaurantDecisionMaking_Jones.pdf
  • 20180215_​FIN600_IndustryAveragesRestaurants_Chen.pdf

The files with a naming convention provide a preview of the content, are organized in a logical way (by date yyyy-mm-dd) identify the database that provided it, and show which team member found it, unlike the files without a naming convention.

Choose machine readable names

Use deliberate deliminators

  • Common approach is using “_” and “-” to deliminate units of metadata in the file names.

  • Can use “-” to separate words you want to glob together and “_” to separate different information within a file name.

Don’t use spaces, punctuation, or capital letters

Don’t use special characters

  • Using $, @, %, #, &,*, (, ), !, etc. may have meanings in programming languages.

Choose human readable names

  • The more meaningful the name, the more useful it is for you.

  • The more metadata you store in the name, the easier it will be to search.

Choose names that use default ordering

When not employing version control, numbering methods facilitate file ordering and distinction.

Don’t use the word “final”

  • Number or date the versions so they can be ordered.

Put something numeric first

  • A date or version number is common.

  • Left pad version numbers with zeros (eg, 01_file.pdf).

Use YYYY-MM-DD for dates

  • The computer will order using this date format.

Adapted from the Open Science Foundation (OSF) and Scott Brandt.

Group of workers (Lego people)

Source: Uitleg & tekst/Flickr

Manage group projects

Group work can be difficult for online or distance students. Here are some different products that can make the process easier for all of you.

  • GroupMe is a free group message app that allows you to coordinate with collaborators via a private chat room.
  • Slack is a collaboration and communication tool.
  • Trello is a tool for project management that allows you to organize and prioritize tasks. 
  • Google Drive will allow you to share and collaborate while working on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. 
  • Dropbox is file-storage and file-sharing tool.
  • OneDrive is a Microsoft tool that is similar to Google Drive and allows you to manage and share documents in the cloud.
  • Microsoft Teams is a tool for team collaboration. Access it with your Microsoft 365 account through JMU