This guide will help you prepare your data for upload into the Dryad Data Repository.  Please read through this before submitting your materials to Dryad, as some advance work may make the upload process quicker and easier.  For more detailed information and links to resources, see the Data Curation LibGuide or contact the Research Data Services staff at

File Organization

All files are uploaded at the same hierarchical level.  When downloaded they will be bundled as a ZIP file.  Consider using file names (which sort alphanumerically in many programs) as a way to organize the files.

Good practices in choosing file names:

  • Uniquely name each file.
  • Be consistent and include similar information in all file names of the same file type.
  • Consider sorting order (usually lexicographic) and logical hierarchies in file directories.
  • Avoid ambiguous and confusing names, such as 'MyData' or 'sample'
  • Derivatives and versions should have similar (but differentiated) names to keep them co-located but still uniquely identified.
  • Names should reflect the contents of the file and/or the stage of development.
  • When using dates, if you want the files to sort chronologically, put the year first and use numerical two-digit months and days (YYYY-MM-DD).  (Example: March 7, 2004 would be written '2004-03-07'.)
  • Use only alphanumeric characters but use dashes (-) or underscores (_) instead of spaces; avoid special characters such as colons (:) and slashes (/).
  • Avoid using case differences to distinguish between files: ‘Record’, ‘record’, and ‘RECORD’ may be three different file names or the same file name, depending on the operating system.

File Formats

Although any file format is accepted in Dryad, consider using open source formats which are more broadly accessible to others.