Although all operating systems have built-in tools for managing files, there are software tools that can organise research data files and folders in a consistent and automated way through batch renaming (also known as mass file renaming or bulk renaming). Batch renaming software exists for most operating systems. There are many situations for which batch renaming may be useful, such as:
- Images from digital cameras are automatically assigned base filenames consisting of sequential numbers;
- Proprietary software or instrumentation generates crude, default or multiple filenames;
- Files are transferred from a system that supports spaces and/or non-English characters in filenames to one that doesn’t (or vice versa). In such cases, batch renaming software can be used to substitute characters or automatically assigned names with acceptable or descriptive ones.