Tomorrow’s File Endings:
On Archiving Principles and Archiving Formats
By Marcus Uneson, PhD Student at Dept. of Linguistics, Lund University
The article discusses without technical detail a few important aspects of long-term archiving, in particular of scientific and scholarly publications. After a brief overview of physical data survival, emphasis is laid on general, sound principles for document archiving, and on how such principles might be considered in the choice of archive file formats. From the Golden Rule of Archiving, “do not unnecessarily restrict future options”, three general principles for publication archiving are derived: a) use simple, text-based formats; b) use open standards; c) archive a representation, not a presentation. With these as point of departure, some common current document formats for archiving are commented, in particular pdf, pdf-a, tex/latex, xml.