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Research Data Services

File Formats

Typically, file format selection will be determined by the software you use for data collection or analysis. However, because technology changes, storing and sharing research data over the long-term requires it be kept in a format that is widely accessible and readable. Researchers should consider whether their data needs to be converted to another format for archiving once their project is completed. In most cases, open file formats are preferred.

  • Databases: XML, CSV
  • E-Books: EPUB
  • Images: JPG, PNG, PDF, TIFF, BMP
  • Sound: MP3, FLAC
  • Text: TXT, CSV, PDF/A, ASCII, UTF-8
  • Video: MPG, MOV, AVI
  • Spreadsheets: CSV

Further Reading

For recommendations on file formats consult these resources:

Creative Commons License
This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.