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I'm at a workshop on data publication, and there's talk about trying to do an audit of scienfitic file formats by related communities.

Is anyone aware of any existing surveys that we might be able to build on?

  • The workshop's attached to the American Astronomical Society meeting, but I'm not specifically interested in astronomy, but the related communities. (and if there might be any places where people are collecting this info). – Joe Jan 9 '14 at 19:59
  • can you give more context? If we're talking about open data, you can look at data catalogues and they have a list on the side, e.g. data.gov.uk – Ulrich Jan 16 '14 at 12:24
  • @Ulrich : for instance, if we ignore ASCII tables (which many communities use) the astronomy community uses primarily FITS and VOTable ... the space science community uses CDF ... the ITM community uses NetCDF ... but what do other communities use for sharing data? The Library of Congress has lists of file formats, but doesn't associate them with their associated communities. – Joe Jan 16 '14 at 15:16
  • I see, social sciences, economics and the web prefer formats like CSV. Perhaps you can find more metadata here? biotorrents.net – Ulrich Jan 20 '14 at 10:44
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    Joe, I've been working on standarizing our proprietary CSV format (at opengeocode.org) into a Linked CSV format. Here's a link to the Linked CSV vocabulary for the fields (columns). Perhaps this might be of use. opengeocode.org/cude1.1/CUDE_Linked_CSV_Vocabulary.docx – Andrew - OpenGeoCode Feb 22 '14 at 19:35
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The BioSharing Standards Database may be of some use to you.

You're going to have a hard time with this, though, because of the scatteredness of the information and because quite a few instrument-science file formats are proprietary.

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