Working with files

Aims and objectives

This module will:

  • provide guidance and information on managing data and how this can impact and support your studies
  • explore the importance of metadata in the digital world
  • examine tools to improve productivity

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • identify various file types and distinguish their usage
  • apply file management conventions, such as folder structure and version control
  • create storage and backup plans

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Module summary

 Data Storage

  • There are many different types and sizes of digital storage solutions
  • Asking yourself some simple questions can be helpful in figuring out your storage needs

 Local and Online storage

  • UQ Library computers give access to your student home drive and can be used to access files on a USB
  • USB drives are a popular way to store files, being easily obtainable and relatively cheap
  • There are a number of cloud storage options that stand out as useful and beneficial for students
  • The best solution for storing digital files is going to be up to an individual to decide by weighing positives against negatives


  • Backing up is important
  • It is also important to think through how you will back up and to create a backup plan. While not necessary for every file, creating a backup plan allows you to evaluate what needs to be backed up and how to backup efficiently and securely


  • Metadata contains details about data and files, these details can be used for record keeping or for discovery
  • Metadata is used by most people on a daily basis in social media and work documents

 Naming Conventions

  • Using file names that can give context is a valuable practice as it can save time and frustration

 File formats/types and saving

  • There are many file types in use in today's digital world
  • Being able to recognise the different types of files, means you can then easily understand and make use of them
  • Text files have a larger range of different file extension than audio files do

Duration:   Approximately 20 minutes

Graduate attributes

Knowledge and skills you can gain to contribute to your Graduate attributes:

 Independence and creativity

 Critical judgement

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