CINES - Centre Informatique National de l’Enseignement Supérieur


C.I.N.E.S. Centre Informatique National de l’Enseignement Supérieur



An important part of the digital archiving problematic concerns the files formats and their ability to be understood in the future.

To be potentially archived, the n°1 condition for a format is its ability to be exploited in its entirety for an unlimited period. So, there must be an available specification describing all of its characteristics. The format and its specification must be free without any time restrictions.

The objective is to find some criteria to guarantee the n°1 condition.

The format specification must be open. It’s better if the specification is linked to a standard, so the quality of its description is guaranteed. If there’s no standard, the format has to be widely used. It may allow thinking that the specification is well written. It results from this description that the format could be proprietary.

To be archived at CINES, a format has to follow these three criteria:

This selection is necessary for:

CINES ‘general archiving policy aims to minimize the number of collected formats:

CINES formats monitoring

The criteria presented above are the founding principles of the CINES reflection around the file format selection for archiving. Formats monitoring organizes itself around a set of lists in which are described the different file formats “watched” by the PAC team. There are 5 lists: