Criteria for eligibility of an archiving format

Much of the problematic of long term preservation is based on file formats and their ability to be interpreted in the distant future.

Condition No. 1 for the format is archivable it must be usable in its entirety and on indefinitely. For this there must exist an open specification that describes all its features. The format and its specification must be free of any right of exploitation and without time limit. The goal is to find a set of criteria to ensure Condition No. 1.

The format specification must be openerte. If the specification is associated with a standard that ensures its correct description. If there is no associated standard, the format must be widely used because this suggests that the specifications are sufficiently exploited to be well written. Note that this leads that such a format may be proprietary.

To be archived at CINES, a format must meet three criteria:

This selection is necessary to:

The general policy of the Archive at CINES is to minimize the number of formats collected to, among others:

Watching of the formats at CINES

The criteria outlined above are the basis of the reflection by the CINES around the selection of file formats for archiving.

The strategic foresight on formats is organized around a set of lists where are registered the differents file formats which are followed by the PAC team. These lists are the number of 5:


Resources available to watch on the formats

- Référentiel Général d’Interopérabilité (RGI) : Version 1.0 published 12 June 2009

- Unified Digital Format Registry (consolidation of bases Pronom et GDFR)

- watching of Library of Congress