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Data Management Best Practices: File Formats

Recommended File Formats

It's important to consider the format your data is saved in to make sure it stays accessible in the future. 

Future accessibility is more likely to occur when the format is:

  • A documented open/free format that is non-proprietary
  • Commonly used in your discipline
  • Has standard encoding (ASCII, Unicode)
  • Not encrypted or compressed

Examples of preferred formats include:

  • Images: JPG-2000, PNG, TIFF
  • Texts: HTML, XML, PDF/A, UTF-8, ASCII (.txt)
  • Audio: AIFF, WAVE

More information: