Preferred Deposit Formats

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While the ADA will accept data and supporting documentation in most formats, there are several preferred formats that the Data Owner should consider when preparing their information for upload and deposit. The tables below highlight the most commonly used formats. These are based typically on the data type in question. Adherence to the ADA preferred format not only makes the data and supporting documentation more accessible to others, by presenting the files in formats that users are familiar with, but increasingly important is the fact that the data files are then available in a format that maximises their potential to be updated and forward migrated in response to changes in technology.

The ADA may be able to offer some data format conversions, but this is purely dependent upon the availability of trained archivist staff, and the appropriate software and hardware being available. It should not be assumed that this service will be provided, and Data Owners should discuss their needs with the ADA prior to depositing. The tables below provide preferred format details for both Quantitative and Qualitative Data types.

Quantitative Data

Quantitative Data
Statistical Packages Spreadsheet Data ASCII Text Other
Preferred Formats: SPSS (.sav), Stata (.dta) Comma-Separated Values (CSV) (.csv) Comma-Separated Values (CSV) (.csv), Tab-Delimited Text (.txt), Fixed Format Text For other formats, such as database (e.g. Microsoft Access (.ACCDB), MySQL (.cnf/.sql), PostGres/PostGreSQL), please contact the ADA to discuss prior to depositing.
Other Acceptable Formats: SAS (.sas), R (.r) Excel (.xls/.xlsx) Please contact the ADA to discuss prior to depositing.

Qualitative Data

Qualitative Data
Textual Data Digital Image Data Digital Audio Data Digital Video Data Documentation
Preferred Formats:
  • eXtensible Markup Language (XML) (.xml) marked-up text according to an appropriate Document Type Definition (DTD) or schema, e.g. XHTML 1.0
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf)
  • Plain Text Data, ASCII (.txt)
  • TIFF (.tiff) (uncompressed)
  • Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) (.flac)
  • WAV File (.wav)
  • JPEG 2000 (.jpeg/.jpg)
  • MPEG4 (.mpeg/.mpg)
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf)
  • Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF/A or PDF) (.pdf)
  • Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) (.htm)
  • Open Document Text (.odt)
Other Acceptable Formats:
  • Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) (.htm)
  • Widely-used proprietary formats e.g. Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx)
  • Proprietary/Software-specific formats such as NUD*IST, NVivo (.nvp) and ATLAS.ti (.atlcb)
  • JPEG (.jpeg/.jpg)
  • Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF/A or PDF) (.pdf)
  • Raw Image Format (.RAW)
  • Software-specific formats such as Photoshop (.psd) files may be acceptable, but the Data Owner should contact the ADA for advice prior to uploading the file(s)
  • MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (.mp3)
  • Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF) (.aif)
  • Plain Text Data (.txt/.asc)
  • Widely-used proprietary formats such as Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx) or Excel (.xls/.xlsx) are acceptable but offer less long-term security
  • eXtensible Markup Language (XML) marked-up text according to an appropriate Document Type Definition (DTD) or schema, e.g. XHTML 1.0

Double-Zipping files and folders

A number of file formats are not compatible for direct upload through Dataverse Version 4.6.1, these are Stata, SPSS, SAS, CSV and Excel file types. When depositing data and supporting documentation in any of these formats, you will need to double-zip the files. Further details can be found at Double-Zipping Files and Folders and Instructions on how to Double-Zip.

Frequently Asked Questions