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Australian Data Archive

Preferred forms for depositing data with ADA

While ADA will accept data in most formats, we do have several preferred formats that we would ask you to consider when preparing your data for deposit. 

Quantitative data

Quantitative data is preferred to be deposited in one of the following formats:

Quantitative Data Preferred formats Other acceptable formats
Statistical packages SPSS, Stata SAS, R
Spreadsheet data CSV Excel
ASCII Text CSV, Tab-delimited text, fixed format text Please contact ADA to discuss

Other formats, such as database formats (eg. Microsoft Access, MySQL, PostGres) should be discussed with ADA staff prior to deposit.

Qualitative data

For qualitative data, possible data formats vary significantly. For this reason, ADA has developed specific preferred formats, partly based on those identified by the UK Data Archive (reproduced with permission).

Qualitative data Preferred Other acceptable
Textual eXtensible Markup Language (XML) marked-up text according to an appropriate Document Type Definition (DTD) or schema;
Rich Text Format (.rtf);
Plain text data, ASCII (.txt)
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML);
Widely-used proprietary formats e.g. Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx);
Proprietary/software-specific formats such as NUD*IST, NVivo and ATLAS.ti
Digital image data TIFF (uncompressed) JPEG (.jpeg, .jpg);
Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF/A or PDF);
Raw image format (.RAW);
Software-specific formats (such as, for example, Photoshop .psd files) may be acceptable, but contributors should contact ADA for advice before file upload
Digital audio data Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC)(.flac);
WAV file (.wav)
MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (.mp3);
Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF)(.aif)
Digital video data JPEG 2000;
MPEG4
Contributors should contact ADA for advice before file upload.
Documentation RTF (.rtf);
PDF/A or PDF;
HTML (.htm);
Open Document Text (.odt)
Plain text (.txt)
Widely-used proprietary formats e.g. Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx) or Excel (.xls/ .xlsx), are acceptable but offer less long-term security;
XML marked-up text according to an appropriate DTD or schema, e.g. XHMTL 1.0

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