1. What is a shortname?
  2. When is a shortname needed and can it be changed later?
  3. What does a shortname look like?
  4. Example shortnames

1. What is a shortname?

If you have made an application, or are making an application, for eRSA storage services, you will probably be asked to nominate a shortname at some point in the application and provisioning process. This page will assist you to understand what a shortname is and how it might be used, as well as provide some guidelines on choosing a shortname.

A shortname is a name that is used by eRSA for technical administrative purposes, sometimes by itself, and sometimes as a component in other names (e.g. as a prefix or suffix). For example, the shortname would be used as the name or part of the name of folder names, group names, URLs (where a URL is required) and the like. As the shortname will be used as the name of the top-level folder for your data, other users also will see the shortname.

For example, if your research group was called “Combined Molecular Biology Group” and the principal investigator chose the shortname “cmbg” for the group, then your data would probably be stored in the folder  /data/cmbg  and be accessible by users who are members of the  cmbg  group. A user might see this when they log in and navigate to, or list the contents of, that folder.

2. When is a shortname needed and can it be changed later?

Because a shortname is central to the naming of entities that are related to a storage allocation, eRSA will need your shortname before we can provision your storage.

The shortname will be used in several systems during the initial set up of your storage. Because some of these systems will use the shortname as a “primary key” - effectively their internal “reference number” - it is not possible to change the shortname after provisioning has begun. If you have not made an application for storage at this time, but intend to, the ideal case is that you nominate a shortname at the time of application, so now might be a good time to start considering what your shortname will be.

3. What does a shortname look like?

A short name:

  • should be comprised of characters chosen from the lowercase letters a-z, the digits 0-9, and the underscore ‘_’ character; for example :
    • abcdefghhijklmnopqrstuvwxyz1234567890_
  • must be unique amongst all eRSA shortnames- it can’t be the same as an existing shortname already in use at eRSA
  • is relatively short- something like 3-16 characters is a good guide
  • ideally it should be something that members of your project/group can recognise and remember
  • should not be generic. “physics” is not a good shortname as there are a number of physics groups in the State, and it would be easy for a member of one physics group to assume that “physics” refers to their own physics group, when it does not
  • if you have an initialism, acronym or abbreviation for your group or project, then that intiailism/acronym/abbreviation (or a recognisable variation thereof) is probably a very good choice for your shortname.

4. Example shortnames

This table shows some example shortnames and the reasons we think they are acceptable or not:

Project/Group Name Shortname Acceptable Comment
Lowe Lab Group lowelab yes Easy to recognise and probably sufficiently unique.
Lowe Lab Group plantgenomics no Although the Lowe Lab works in plant genomics, this shortname is too generic.
Lowe Lab Group llg yes Succinct, recognisable, identifiable. It is not that likely there is another group using “llg”.
ARC Plant Cell Wall Centre of Exellence plant genomics no Too generic and contains an illegal character - the space.
ARC Plant Cell Wall Centre of Exellence pcwcoe yes Recognisable and fairly unique.
Genetic Library for the Centre for Mammal Biology genetic-library no Too generic; there are probably other genetic libraries (or may well be in the future) and it uses the illegal ‘-‘ (dash) character.
The Plant Accelerator plantaccel yes Recognisable and sufficiently unique. There’s only one plant accelerator in SA and it is not too likely that another will be built.

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