- Keep a record of which versions you have made publicly available and where.
- Use a numbering system that denotes major revisions.
- Make explicit the author, title, date last changed and version status on all versions of work. This can be done;
- descriptively within the object, for example, on a title page, title slide, first frame of film and so on.
- by using a clear, updated and relevant filename for every different version.
- by filling in available 'Properties' details or 'ID tags' (full guidance below).
VIF highly recommends that all creators of text documents read the
Toolkit which contains further practical advice for authors and content
Your repository will be able to help. They will have useful guidance and tips and may have policies that you should refer to, so contact them in the first instance. For example, they might prefer text articles to be submitted in Word rather than PDF's.
Give repository staff all information you can about:
- What version you are depositing - is it a draft, a published version, an abstract and so on.
- If you've deposited any other related versions either here or anywhere else.
- If a co-author/creator has deposited the same or a different version anywhere else.
If you have moved institutions, let your new institution know if you have deposited material elsewhere previously, especially if you are depositing old work in a new repository. This will help repository managers make sure that all versions of your work that could appear in more than one place can be identified easily as the same thing, and prevent confusing duplication.
Many content creators now use computer software to help manage versions of the work they produce. If you create large volumes of work, such applications could be very beneficial to you, and also help organising your versions ready for dissemination using repositories.
The most popular programs are:
This software is open source, available for free, and can be installed with user friendly graphical front-ends (for example: SVNTortoise - http://tortoisesvn.net/).
The software can be used flexibly, allowing you to branch off different versions and later merge again.
There are different ways to include version information in an object. The best or easiest method for you will depend on personal preference and the type of format that the object is. The following guidance should be helpful for content creators in deciding the best way to include version information in their documents and files:
- All objects should have a clear, updated and consistent filename with relevant version information in a filename.
- A title page or sheet can be used general text documents, PDF, PowerPoint, LaTex and even in Excel files.
- It can be more difficult to insert a title page equivalent into Multimedia objects like images, audio, video and datasets. They are increasingly being deposited in digital repositories, but often lack any versioning information 'within' themselves, which is why the use of properties fields is important. Filling in these tags puts more information at the fingertips of the creator, the librarian, repository manager and crucially the researcher.
Examples of and guides to how to make the best of common file types
and software packages are given in the links below. Microsoft Office has
been focussed on as it is the most commonly used. Office for Macs
behaves in the same fashion as it is Windows equivalent.
- Data, including Excel
- Title Sheet
- File > Properties