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SOM Data Management: Naming and Format

File Organization

Source: File Naming Best Practices document created by Christine Malinowski, MIT Libraries

The file formats you use for your data directly impact future users' ability to access and open that data. 

Formats most likely to be accessible in the future include:

  • Non-proprietary, not tied to a specific software product
  • Unencrypted
  • Uncompressed
  • Common, used by the research community
  • Standard representation, such as ASCII, Unicode
  • Open, documented standard

Examples of preferred formats:

  • PDF/A, not Word
  • ASCII, not Excel
  • MPEG-4, not Quicktime
  • TIFF or JPEG2000, not GIF or JPEG
  • XML or RDF, not RDBMS

Additional Resources on File Formats:

Source: Data Organization, Created by University of Arizona, University Libraries

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