DANS is developing normative guidelines about data and file types for the purpose of long-term archiving in its self-service repository EASY.


All texts you find here are work in progress. The currently authoritative texts can be found on the prefered formats web page of DANS.


The purpose of this repository is to open up the discussion of which formats are preferred and which are not.

There are two important kinds of criteria for a format to be preferred:

  • is it technically suitable for long-term preservation? I.e. will it still be usable and/or understandable if most software that we have now is out of business?
  • is it practically usable by depositors and other users of the archive? We do not want to introduce unnecessary hurdles for researchers that submit their data to us.

Archiving for research is always unfinished business. Formats evolve, and new formats emerge. Here at DANS we do not pretend to know all formats and we are open to learn about new ones.


If you have comments on our current preferred format specifications, or if you want to introduce new formats, you can start by filing an issue.

Please, browse through the list of issues first in order to see if your topic is already being dealt with.

Building this site

This site is built from source texts and structure information into a set of Markdown files that is processed by MkDocs into HTML files that can be served by GitHub Pages.

See the help.


Dirk Roorda