SPEC Kit 329: Managing Born-Digital Special Collections and Archival Materials · 135
ohio State univerSity
Format Support
Format Support - Ohio State University Libraries
http://library.osu.edu/projects-initiatives/knowledge-bank/tools/format-support/[8/9/12 6:45:01 PM]
University Libraries
Knowledge Bank Center
Knowledge Bank Open Access Publishing Open Access Archiving Tools About Us
Tschera Harkness
Head of Scholarly
Resources Integration
320G Science & Engineering
175 West 18th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
Office: 614-247-7462
Format Support
The Knowledge Bank provides support for as many file formats as possible. Over time, items stored in the
Knowledge Bank will be preserved as is, using a combination of time-honored techniques for data management
and best practices for digital preservation.
The proprietary nature of many file types makes it impossible to guarantee preservation. Put simply, our policy for file
formats is that:
everything put in the Knowledge Bank will be retrievable
we will recognize as many files’ formats as possible
we will support as many known file formats as possible.
When a file format is uploaded to the Knowledge Bank, we assign it one of the following categories:
supported: the Knowledge Bank fully support the format. “Support” means “make usable in the future,
using whatever combination of techniques (such as migration, emulation, etc.) is appropriate given the
context of need”. For supported formats, the Knowledge Bank might choose to bulk-transform files from a
current format version to a future one, for instance. The Knowledge Bank staff can’t predict which services
will be necessary down the road, so formats and techniques to ensure that needs are accommodated as
they arise are continually monitored.
“known”: the Knowledge Bank can recognize the format, but cannot guarantee full support.
“unsupported”: the Knowledge Bank cannot recognized a format; such formats are listed as
“application/octet-stream”, or “Unknown”.
The Knowledge Bank attempts to keep the percentage of supported format materials as high as possible.
Communities are encouraged to contact the Knowledge Bank with questions or concerns. Knowledge Bank
Format Collection: In the following table, MIME type is the Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) type
identifier; for more information on MIME, see the MIME RFCs or the MIME FAQ. Description is what most people
use as the name for the format. Extensions are typical file name extensions (the part after the dot, e.g. the
extension for “index.html” is “html”). These are not case-sensitive in the Knowledge Bank, so either “sample.XML”
or “sample.xml” will be recognized as XML. In addition, the Knowledge Bank does not archive compressed files,
such as .gz or .zip.
MIME Type Description Extension Level
application/marc MARC marc, mrc supported
application/mathematica Mathematica ma known
application/msword Microsoft Word doc known
application/octet-stream Unknown
(anything not
application/ogg OGG Media Type ogg, OggS known
application/pdf Adobe PDF pdf supported
application/postscript Postscript ps, eps, ai supported
Format Support
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