How should I name my runs and output resources?

The default names used by Riffyn for runs and output resources are generally not very informative. So we recommend you replace them with name formulas.

In general, you almost always want your output resources to be named the same as your runs. So first add a formula to each run name that sets it equal to the output resource name, or vice versa (set the output resource name formula to equal your run name).

For example: First, add a formula to the run name which sets it equal to the output resource name. Then add a formula to the output resource name. You can create names by concatenating data attributes of the inputs and outputs on the run. For this purpose, it is helpful to decide on a naming convention that can uniquely (or almost uniquely) identify the runs and the output resources, while still being human readable and easy to write on a lab tube (if you are manually labelling). Whatever that is, we recommend it at least include:

  • the date
  • an informative identifying attribute characteristic of the output of the step (e.g. “mixture”)
  • an identifier unique to the run, such as the well ID on a plate, or the run number
  • it may also be useful to add your initials because that can push a sample “over the edge” to the nirvana of global uniqueness.



Name formula for the “Sample of Insolubles” output resource. The name includes the date of the sample preparation date and plate number (which are both embedded in the plate ID), and the well position of the sample. This name is not guaranteed to be globally unique, but is generally sufficiently so to be findable. It also is human readable.


Note that it is not necessary to name resources with something other than the default. And you can also use non-human-readable names for resources, like barcodes. This can be helpful for searching for resources by scanning barcodes. But this can also make interpretation of your experiment a lot harder for humans.

It’s also not necessary to name resources uniquely, but it can be helpful sometimes. The place where unique names and naming conventions are generally not needed are resources that are born and consumed within the experiment, and never used again (i.e., part of the internal flow of an experiment). For such cases, you may wish to keep the default names provided by Riffyn, or name them with some non-unique name that is useful for tracking samples in the lab during the experiment execution. (Note that even if the name is not unique, each resource will be given a unique Riffyn ID to allow you to distinguish these in the system later, should this be necessary.)

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