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FIU Digital Project Guidelines and Help Materials

The internal standard operating procedures for FIU Libraries' digital collections

File Naming

From the Florida Statewide Digital Action Plan: Guidelines for Building Good Digital Collections (2014)


Systematic file naming is important for system compatibility, interoperability and to demonstrate ownership of the digital asset. It is critical that your file names are unique, and it is recommended that they follow an established convention to assure consistency and ease of use. 


The Digital Collections Center has found that the easiest way to keep track of files is to follow the FI# format. This way, all files and metadata may easily associated and tracked. Otherwise, the following are helpful.

File naming recommendations from the BCR CDP Digital Imaging Best Practices, Version June 2008 include:


  • Use lowercase letters of the Latin alphabet and the numerals 0 through 9.
  • Avoid punctuation marks other than underscores and hyphens, e.g.  / > < + = ’ ^ | \ { } [ ] # , ; ? ! $ * & 
  • Begin each file name with a two- to three-character acronym representing the institutional name followed by a second two- to three-character acronym representing the department or unit name (when applicable)
  • Follow the institutional and departmental acronyms with an object ID. The object ID consists of any unique numbering scheme already in use to represent the object or, if no such number exists, a short description representing the item
  • File names should be limited to 31 characters, including the three character file extension
  • Use a single period as a separator between the file name and the three letter extension
  • Include a part designator after the object ID, when applicable


When selecting a file naming convention, think long-term. Select a system that will outlast staff involved in the current project. Consider the number of files your institution will ultimately be managing. Remember human error ― if technicians will manually be assigning file names, how simple or easy will it be to make a mistake? Remember, file names do not take the place of metadata. Keep them simple and straightforward.

BibID in dPanther

The BibID is a ten digit alphanumeric identifier used for SobekCM libraries which begins with at least two characters and ends with at least four numbers. Whatever you enter will be the beginning of the final BibID's, which also act as part of the ObjectID for the METS files.

If you enter a string less than 10 characters long, this will be the prefix. For example, entering 'FI008' will cause the first BibID assigned to be 'FI00800000', the second 'FI00800001', the third 'FI00800002', etc..

Entering a full BibID, such as 'FIDA0123' will break the item into two parts and compute each BibID from the provided BibID. For example, entering 'FIDA0123' will cause the first BibID assigned to be 'FIDA0123', the second 'FIDA0124', the third FIDA0125', etc..