Best Practices for File Versioning

Versioning refers to savings new copies of your file when changes are made. This can be done manually or some software programs automatically do file versioning. Using file versioning can assist with keeping track of your data files as changes are made.

Simple file versioning:

  • Include a version number at the end of the file name such as v1, v2, or v1.2, etc. Update this version number each time the file is saved.
  • Include information about the status of the file, such as "draft" or "final. For the final version, substitute the word FINAL for the version number. Only save as FINAL when no more edits will be made.
  • Include information about changes that were made, such as "original" or "cropped".

Note: When collaborating on a file, versioning control file naming conventions work best when all collaborators have agreed on the format early on.

Simple software solutions:

  • Google drive:
    • You need an Google account to use OHSU Box. Note- you do not need a gmail account, a google account can be created using any email address, including your OHSU email address.
    • New versions are saved for Google Drive's text documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
    • Version information includes who was editing the file and the date and time the new version was created.
    • Google drive allows you to revert back to previous versions.
  • OHSU Box
    • Use your OHSU credentials to access OHSU Box
    • OHSU Box tracks file versions for all files saved in Box.
    • The comments feature lets you indicate changes that have been made between versions.
    • Documents can be shared with others, and Box will track who uploaded or updated each file and when.
    • Additional information about OHSU Box:
      • OHSU Box has protections in place for OHSU confidential and restricted data or protected health information.
      • Storage size for OHSU Box is currently limited to 10 GB, with no requests for additional capacity accepted.

Additional software solutions: