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What file formats should my IR support?


  • Cornell University Library. "Balancing Access Issues."  Chap. 3 in Digital Preservation Management Tutorial: Implementing Short-term Strategies for Long-term Problems, 2003-2007. [Link]

"Computer files, the objects normally thought of as the main target of digital preservation, are presented according to pre-defined structural and organizational principles. Those principles, usually referred to as a file format, are typically laid out in a document called a format specification. A format specification provides the details necessary to construct a valid file of a particular type and to develop software applications that can decode and render such files."

  • Kelly, B. "A Pilot Survey of File Formats in Institutional Repositories." UK Web Focus blog. 14 June 2011. [Link]

This article describes a survey conducted of the Russell Group Universities located in the UK and the types of file formats used in their repositories. The author discusses the recovered data and how it relates more broadly to preservation policies within the institutional repositories.

  • Kelly, B., et al. "Open Metrics for Open Repositories." In: OR2012: the 7th International Conference on Open Repositories, 2012-07-09 - 2012-07-13, Edinburgh, Scotland. 2012. [Link]

"The authors describe a JISC-funded project which harvested a large number of repositories in order to identify patterns of use of metadata attributes and summarise the key findings."

  • "Sustainability of Digital Formats - Planning for Library of Congress Collections" [Link]

"The Digital Formats Web site provides information about digital content formats. The analyses and resources presented here will increase and be updated over time."

  • Thompson, D. (2010). A Pragmatic Approach to Preferred File Formats for Acquisition. Ariadne, 63. [Link]

"The Library's approach provides for nine principles to consider as part of appraisal. These principles balance economically sustainable preservation and intellectual 'value' with the practicalities of working with specific, and especially proprietary, file formats."

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