One of the things we dread when on the askalibrarian desk is a student asking us where their essay has gone. The one they saved to the PC in the Hive earlier. The one they’ve been working on all morning and now can’t be found anywhere on the computer.
Please: don’t be one of those students!
Rule Number One:
Never save anything only to the PC in the Hive, Peirson or anywhere else. The PCs get wiped as soon as you log off. This is so that confidential information is not accessible to others, and it keeps the computer clutter and virus-free. That essay you’ve been working on? Gone.
Rule Number Two:
Have a system for backing up your work. Save it in more than one place. Use a USB drive by all means, but you wouldn’t believe the number of USB pens that get left in PCs in the Hive alone. It’s a lot. (We always marvel at how small these things are getting. No wonder they get lost or forgotten, they’re miniscule! But I digress.)
Do you use cloud storage? There are plenty of options – Office 365 available through your student portal, or Dropbox, to name two. This means your files are accessible anywhere you have access to the internet. Back up your work on a USB and cloud storage and you shouldn’t lose that all-important assignment! At the very least, if you’ve forgotten your USB drive or don’t have cloud storage yet, attach the latest version to an email and send it to yourself.
Rule Number Three:
Keep your filenames meaningful. Use your essay title, or the section of the independent study (methodology), or the title of the article if it is a PDF from a journal. Consider adding the date too (e.g. filename_200616), so you can quickly identify the version you want to work on. This is especially useful if you have made some major edits (removed some juicy chunks because of the word count) and want to have both the latest version and the older, unedited version saved (to put the juicy chunks back in because you changed your mind).