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Help & guidance Data management

Choosing file formats

Format is a fundamental characteristic of a digital file that governs its ability to be used effectively. When choosing file formats you should consider if they are:

  • Suitable to record your data,
  • Stable, not under constant revision,
  • Supported on various hardware,
  • Supported by various operating systems (Windows/Macintosh/Unix/Linux),
  • Supported by comprehensive public documentation,
  • Ideally free of legal restriction in its use,
  • Popular, these formats are more likely to remain supported,
  • Accepted by your chosen long-term repository.

The ADS is able to accept most major file formats. Refer to the ADS Instructions for Depositors for our list of accepted file formats.