GUIDELINES FOR DEPOSITORS: Downloads

Research Data National Archives Digital Preservation image

Version 4.1 April 2021

Guideline quick links

Navigate to a section of the guidelines using the links below:

  1. Guidelines
  2. Preparing Datasets
  3. Interfaces
  4. Downloads and metadata

Downloads and Quick Links

ADS Deposit Licence PDF

ADS Deposit Checklist PDF, Microsoft Word

File Formats and Metadata

File-level metadata is the information required for ADS to archive and disseminate files within a larger dataset, this will commonly include notes on the software used, lists of file names, and contextual information. Required file-level metadata will differ dependent on data type and for each data type, only certain types of file formats are accepted.

Preferred file formats are open stable formats suitable for preservation (may be converted to a more accessible web format for dissemination). Whereas acceptable file formats may be sufficient for dissemination, but need work to convert into a preservation-suitable format and may need more extensive curation in the future.

Data Type Requirements

This table lists all file types we accept with a template of the required metadata associated with each type. Click on the data type to learn more about that specific type.

Data Type
Preferred File Format
Accepted File Format
Metadata Template Download Type
Example
Collection-level Metadata
None
None
Microsoft Word
Open Office Document
None
HS2 Collection-level Metadata

(for HS2 collections only)

None
None
Microsoft Word
Open Office Document
None
3D Models, Visualisation,
and Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality Modelling Language
.vrml

Wavefront OBJ File
.obj (+ .mtl + jpg textures)

3D models from laser scanning or photogrammetry should be archived along with the original scan or image datasets (see sections below).
Adobe Portable Document Format (3D)
.pdf

This is accepted for dissemination purposes only, it is not suitable for preservation of 3D data.

STL
.stl
Microsoft Excel
Open Office Spreadsheet
None
Audio
Broadcast Wave Format
.bwf

Waveform Audio
.wav
Advanced Audio Coding
.aac

Audio Interchange File
.aif

Flac
.flac

MPEG3
.mp3

Speex
.ogg
Microsoft Excel
Open Office Spreadsheet
csv
None
Binary and Plain Text (Documents)
Microsoft Word
.doc/.docx

OpenDocument Text
.odt
Plain text
.txt

Portable Document Format
.pdf

Rich Text Format
.rtf

Text encoding, DTD or schema
.xml, .sgml, .html, .xhtml
Microsoft Excel
Open Office Spreadsheet
csv
Text PDF
CAD and
Vector graphics
AutoCAD Drawing (2018 or later)
.dwg

Drawing Interchange Format (2018 or later)
.dxf

Scalable Vector Graphics
.svg
AutoCAD Drawing (2017 or earlier)
.dwg

Drawing Interchange Format (2017 or earlier)
.dxf
Microsoft Excel
Open Office Spreadsheet
csv
Vector PDF
Databases
Comma-separated values
.csv
Dbase
.dbf

Delimited text
.txt

Exchange formats
.json/.xml/.rdf

Microsoft Access
.mdb/.accdb

Microsoft Excel
.xls/.xlsx

Structured Query Language Data
.sql

Microsoft Excel
Open Office Spreadsheet
csv
Database PDF
Geophysics
Geophysical survey datasets should include:

(1) Raw data in text/XYZ format
.txt, .csv, SEG-Y(.segy)

(2) Processed data in its native format (optional)

(3) Raster plots
.tif + .tfw world file or GeoTIFF

Raw data files should be clearly described (structure, values, etc.) in accompanying documentation.
Raw contour data
.dat/.rep
Rendered images
.png + .pgw world file

Microsoft Excel
Open Office Spreadsheet
csv
Geophysics PDF
GIS (General)
ESRI Shapefile
.shp (+ .shx + .dbf and other associated files)

Geography Markup Language
.gml
ArcInfo Interchange
.e00

MapInfo Interchange Format
.mif + .mid
Microsoft Excel
Open Office Spreadsheet
csv
GIS PDF
GIS (Geodatabases)
None
Delimited text and ESRI Shapefile
.csv + .shp

GeoJSON
.geojson
Microsoft Excel
Open Office Spreadsheet
csv
GIS PDF
GIS (Raster)
Geo-referenced TIF Image
.tif + .tfw world file, or GeoTIFF
ERDAS Imagine files
.img (+ .rrd, aux.xml, img.xml)

ESRI GRID ascii
.asc/.grd

ESRI GRID binary
.adf

JPG World
.jpg + .jpw (.rrd, .aux, .xml)

Keyhole Markup Language
.kml

PNG World
.png + .pgw (.rrd,.aux,.xml)
Microsoft Excel
Open Office Spreadsheet
csv
GIS PDF
Harris Matrices
BASP, Stratify, and ArchEd exports
.lst

Delimited Text
.txt

Comma Separated Values
.csv
Microsoft Excel
.xls or .xlsx
Microsoft Excel
Open Office Spreadsheet
csv
None
Digital photography and Raster Images
Joint Photographic Expert Group
.jpeg/.jpg

Baseline TIFF v.6 (uncompressed, single-page)
.tiff/.tif
Adobe Digital Negative
.dng

Adobe Portable Document Format
.pdf

Bit-Mapped Graphics Format
.bmp

Graphics Interchange Format
.gif

Portable Network Graphics
.png

JPEG2000
.jp2/.jpx
Microsoft Excel
Open Office Spreadsheet
csv
Raster Image PDF
Laser Scanning
ASCII Text File
.txt

E57 Point Cloud Format
.e57

Laser scanning datasets should ideally include both raw scans and registered datasets.
Cyclone ASCII Export
.pts
Microsoft Excel
Open Office Spreadsheet
None
LIDAR and Satellite Imagery
ASPRS Lidar Data Exchange Format
.las

ASCII Text File
.txt

GeoTIFF
.tif
None
Depositors wishing to deposit LIDAR must contact us for information on appropriate formats and metadata.
Linked Data formats
Depositors wishing to deposit Linked Data formats must contact us for information on appropriate formats and metadata.
Markup Language
Depositors wishing to deposit Markup Language must contact us for information on appropriate formats and metadata.
Medical Imaging
DICOM files
.dcm, off-line media

Joint Photographic Expert Group
.jpeg/.jpg

Uncompressed Baseline TIFF v.6
.tiff/.tif
Depositors wishing to deposit Medical Imaging must contact us for information on appropriate formats and metadata.
Photogrammetry
Virtual Reality Modelling Language
.vrml

Wavefront OBJ File
.obj (+ .mtl + jpg textures)

3D models from photogrammetry should be deposited with their source images.

Raster images
.jpg, .tif or .dng
Adobe Portable Document Format (3D)
.pdf

This is accepted as an additional dissemination format, it is not suitable for preservation of 3D data.
Microsoft Excel
Open Office Spreadsheet

Where possible, software-generated processing reports should be deposited alongside the data.
Polynomial Texture Mapping (PTM) and Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI)
Raster Images
.jpg, .tif, or .dng

Reflectance Transformation Imaging
.RTI/.PTM (+ XML + XMP + LP files)
None
Depositors wishing to deposit PTM and RTI must contact us for further advice on appropriate metadata.
Scientific Data
Depositors wishing to deposit Scientific Data must contact us for information on appropriate formats and metadata.
Spreadsheets
Comma Separated Values
.csv

Microsoft Excel
.xls/.xlsx

OpenOffice Calc 2.0
.ods
Delimited text
.txt
Microsoft Excel
Open Office Spreadsheet
csv
Spreadsheet PDF
Video and Moving Images
Matroska (FFV1 + LPCM/FLAC codecs)
.mkv

MPEG1
.mpeg/.mpg

MPEG2
.mpeg/.mpg

MPEG4
.mp4
Microsoft Excel
Open Office Spreadsheet
csv
None

If the data type you require is not listed above, please contact us for information on appropriate formats and metadata.