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Data management toolbox: File formats for long-term preservation and re-use

Tool and service

Service

To ensure long-term access and usability of your data, the BiUM publication management unit encourages you to deposit documents with the standard preservation file formats most likely to be accessible in the future.

As technology evolves, it is important to consider which file formats you will use for preserving files in the long run.

File formats most likely to be accessible in the future have the following characteristics:

  • Non-proprietary
  • Open, documented standard
  • Popular format
  • Standard representation
  • Unencrypted
  • Uncompressed

We can provide you with guidance on which format to use for long-term preservation of your data. Practical courses concerning these aspects are also provided by our service on a regular basis - link.

Tool

For help on long-term preservation standards format have a look at FBM Recommended Files format.

 

BiUM recommended files formats for general data

Recommended Standards Files format from our service for data sharing or archiving (ranked in descending order of preference):

Text:
• PDF/A
– PDF/X
• Plain text (.txt)
• Open Office (.odt)
• XML / HTML (with schema)
• Word XML (.docx)
• RTF
• LaTeX

Images:
Bitmap
– TIFF (uncompressed)
– PNG
– JPEG2000
– (GIF)
Vector
– SVG

Tabular data:
• CSV (comma, tab, semi-colon)
• Open Office (.ods)
• XML / HTML (with schema)
• Excel (.xlsx)
• .SQL

Video:
• MPEG-4 (H.264) (~ MP4)
• Motion JPEG 2000
• MPEG-1/2

Audio:
• WAV (preferably Broadcast Wave Format, LPCM)
• AIFF (LPCM)
• OGG Vorbis
• MP3 MPEG Layer III
• AAC MPEG-4