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Data Services: Data Types & Formats

This guide provides information on managing data and obtaining secondary data for research.

Types of Data

Every discipline has data in some form. The following is a sample list of types of data. 

1. Weather measurements

2. Photographs

3. Results from experiments

4. Simulation data

5. Field notes

6. Images (e.g. brain scans)

7. Quantitative data (e.g. household survey data)

8. Historical documents

9. Physical objects: such as bones or blood samples

10. Digitized photos / born digital photos

11. Social media data: tweets

File Types

Consider long-term access to data when you choose which file type to use. You can help reduce the obscelence of your data files by using file types that are designed for long-term access. The following file types are preferrable over proprietary software-specfic file types:

A. Text Files

PDF/A
TXT
XML
RTF

Not: MS Word

B. Numerical Files

CSV
Tab Delimited

Not: MS Excel

C. Video Files

MPEG-4

Not: Quicktime

D. Image Files

TIFF
JPEG2000

Not: GIF, JPG

E. Audio Files

WAV

Not: mp3