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AHDS Deposit Formats

Content written on: October 10th 2003 by Hamish James
Content updated on: August 22nd 2006 by Alastair Dunning

Suitable formats for depositing data with the AHDS

The tables below list the suitable AHDS deposit formats. These are defined according to the criteria below.

Preferred Deposit Formats

Preferred deposit formats include formats that the AHDS recommend as best practice, our preferred preservation formats and popular formats for which there is good software support (especially export options) and we can successfully preserve the identified significant properties. Cost and likely future support for necessary software should also be taken into account.

Acceptable Deposit Formats

Formats that the AHDS can probably successfully preserve given our current software and skills.

Problematic Deposit Formats

Any formats that will be very difficult to ingest and preserve either, a) due to expense of, or difficulty of obtaining, appropriate software, b) requirements for highly specialised knowledge that the AHDS does not have in-house and cannot contract, or c) over reliance on software or hardware specific functionality that cannot be replicated in different technical environments.

Problematic Aspects

Characteristics of the information content stored in the file format that may be difficult to preserve.

Table of formats suitable for deposit with the AHDS
Digital Resource Type

Database

Preferred Deposit Formats

Delimited text (tab or pipe delimited, comma delimited with quotes around textual values) with SQL setup

Acceptable Deposit Formats

2. Database software formats with full description of database structure (tables, fields, data types, keys and relationships):

Access95+
FoxPro 2.5+
Paradox
Filemaker Pro 3.0+
Delimited text with full description of database structure (tables, fields, data types, keys and relationships)

Problematic Deposit Formats

Filemaker Pro 2
Obsolete database software formats

Problematic Aspects

User interface forms, queries using custom extensions to SQL. Report templates

 

Digital Resource Type

Plain Text

Preferred Deposit Formats

ASCII (7 bit)
UTF-8 UNICODE
UTF-16 UNICODE

Acceptable Deposit Formats

ISO 8859 character sets
MS-DOS codepages
MS-Windows codepages
Apple codepages
Other UNICODE encodings

Problematic Deposit Formats EBCDIC
Problematic Aspects -

 

Digital Resource TypeWord Processor Document
Preferred Deposit Formats

Rich Text Format
Open Document Text (ODT)

Acceptable Deposit Formats

PDF
Word
WordPerfect
StarOffice / OpenOffice

Problematic Deposit Formats

Early versions of word processor packages.
Word processor packages for platforms other than Windows, Mac, Unix, Linux

Problematic Aspects-

 

Digital Resource TypeMark-up
Preferred Deposit Formats

XML (including XHTML) with DTD or schema
SGML (including HTML) with DTD

Acceptable Deposit Formats-
Problematic Deposit Formats

Custom mark-up without DTD or schema

Problematic Aspects-

 

Digital Resource Type

Raster Image

Preferred Deposit Formats

TIFF v6+,
PNG

Acceptable Deposit Formats

GIF
BMP
PCX
Photoshop*
Paintshop Pro*
CGM
PhotoCD
GeoTIFF

Problematic Deposit Formats

Any lossy compression (e.g. JPEG)
Minority image formats (e.g. .bob)
PDF

Problematic Aspects-

 

Digital Resource TypeCAD
Preferred Deposit Formats-
Acceptable Deposit Formats

STEP
DXF

Problematic Deposit Formats-
Problematic Aspects-

 

Digital Resource TypeGIS
Preferred Deposit FormatsNone
Acceptable Deposit Formats

GML (version 2 or above)
ESRI Shape Files
ESRI Export formats (.e001)
MapInfo Formats
SDTS
DXF
DWG

Problematic Deposit FormatsNTF
Problematic Aspects

The NTF format is supported by the OSGB but they have announced their intention to move away from NTF in favour of GML2.1.2

 

Digital Resource TypeSpreadsheets
Preferred Deposit Formats

Delimited text files(tab or pipe delimited, comma delimited with quotes around textual values)

Acceptable Deposit Formats

Excel
Lotus
Quattro>

Problematic Deposit FormatsObsolete spreadsheet software formats
Problematic Aspects

Functionality of formulas, results of functions, embedded charts, complex visual layout (borders, fonts, colour, column widths etc)

 

Digital Resource TypeExecutables
Preferred Deposit FormatsNone
Acceptable Deposit FormatsANSI C or Java 1.2+ source code
Problematic Deposit FormatsCompiled code
C++, C#, Visual Basic, Pascal, Ada, assembler or other common programming languages source code

 

Problematic Aspects-

 

Digital Resource TypeAudio
Preferred Deposit FormatsWAV
Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF)
Acceptable Deposit Formats

MP3
Ogg Vorbis

Problematic Deposit Formats

Real Audio
Modules
Other minority audio formats

Problematic AspectsStreamed audio

 

Digital Resource Type Moving Image
Preferred Deposit FormatsNone
Acceptable Deposit FormatsMPEG-1
MPEG-4 with common codec
AVI with common codec
MJPEG with WAV file
MPEG2

 

Problematic Deposit FormatsStreamed audio/video
Unknown codecs

 

Problematic AspectsSync issues

 

Digital Resource TypeVector Graphics
Preferred Deposit Formats

SVG
DXF

Acceptable Deposit FormatsAdobe Illustrator
Problematic Deposit Formats-
Problematic Aspects-

 

Digital Resource TypeGeophysics Datafile
Preferred Deposit FormatsAGF
Acceptable Deposit Formats

Contors
Geoplot

Problematic Deposit Formats-
Problematic Aspects -

 

Digital Resource Type Statistical Dataset
Preferred Deposit Formats

SPSS Portable
Delimited text files(tab or pipe delimited, comma delimited with quotes around textual values) with data dictionary and codebook

 

Acceptable Deposit FormatsStata
SAS
Problematic Deposit FormatsFixed width text files without appropriate documentation
Problematic Aspects-

 

Digital Resource Type Virtual Reality
Preferred Deposit FormatsNone
Acceptable Deposit FormatsVRML
Problematic Deposit FormatsProprietary virtual reality modelling software formats
Problematic Aspects-