Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Data Archive

Data formats

The table below (reproduced with permission from the UKDA), shows ATSIDA’s preferred formats for data deposits:

Qualitative data


Other acceptable


  • 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 ATSIDA 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

Contact ATSIDA for advice 


  • RTF (.rtf)
  • PDF/A or PDF
  • HTML (.htm)
  • Open Document Text (.odt)

In addition to those formats named in the 'preferred' column:

  • 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


Although proprietary software-specific formats are accepted, these should be deposited alongside copies of the data in non-proprietary formats. If depositing data in proprietary software-specific formats, such as CAQDAS, NUD*IST, ATLAS-ti and WinMax the depositor should use the software export facility to produce the raw data, coding tree, coded data and associated memos and notes. Checks should be made to ensure that the depositor has done this.

ATSIDA staff are happy to answer any questions you have about the format of your data, so please don't hesitate to contact us.