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Research Data Management for the Health Sciences: File Versioning

Research data is becoming increasingly important. This Medical Library guide will introduce you to research data management skills, and connect you to relevant services and resources across the Yale Campus.

Git and File Versioning

Box@Yale and File Versioning

With files stored in Box, you can:

  • Revert to prior versions
  • Recover up to 10 most recent versions from trash folder
  • Download/Edit/Upload with comments

For more information, reference:

Google Drive and File Versioning

With files stored on Google Drive, you can:

  • See earlier versions of a file
  • Restore an earlier version of a file
  • Make a copy of an earlier version of a file
  • Note: only the most recent versions of past documents will be saved, unless you click "Keep forever"

For more information, reference: 

Best Practises for File Versioning

Versioning involves tracking the changes you make to your data by saving new copies of data files with indicators of the changes made. This allows you to recognize and access older copies of files. 

Add these features in your file names to track changes you make to your data:

  • Include a version number, e.g "v1," "v2," or "v2.1".
  • Include information about the status of the file, e.g. "draft" or "final," as long as you don't end up with confusing names like "final2" or "final_revised".
  • Include information about what changes were made, e.g. "cropped" or "normalized".