Library:Circle/File Format Guidelines

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All items submitted to cIRcle for archiving must be delivered to cIRcle in digital format. In line with the recommendations of the UBC Library Digital Preservation Subcommittee, cIRcle uses an open source digital preservation system called Archivematica, which has preferred file formats in order to ensure files are stored long term.

Only digital files may be submitted to cIRcle. DVDs and CDs that require digital transcoding (conversion to an acceptable format) will not be accepted. Printed documents will not be accepted.


Although cIRcle can technically accept all file formats, it is strongly recommended and important to submit files that are in one of the preferred file formats, in order to ensure long term accessibility and preservation of the content.

This list is not exhaustive; please contact the cIRcle Office at if you have any questions.

File Sizes

Please ensure each of your files are no larger than 2 GB in size. Please note that an item record can hold multiple files, with each file up to the size limit.

If your file(s) are larger than the size limit, we recommend one of the following methods to reduce the file size:

  1. Split the file(s) into multiple parts, each no larger than the file size limit
  2. Reduce the file quality

Text Documents

cIRcle accepts text documents such as reports, articles, posters, and presentations amongst others.

The preferred formats for text documents uploaded to cIRcle are:

  • .pdf (Generally, cIRcle does not accept secured (password protected) PDF files, due to access and preservation concerns. If you have questions, please contact cIRcle staff.)
  • .txt

Acceptable text formats include:

  • .doc/.docx
  • .ppt/.pptx/.ppsx
  • .xls/.xlsx

If your text file includes video and/or audio, please also provide a standalone copy of each embedded video and/or audio file. See accepted Video and Audio formats below.

Video Files

The preferred formats for video files uploaded to cIRcle are:

  • .avi
  • .flv
  • .mkv
  • .mov
  • .mp4/.m4v
  • .mpg
  • .wmv

Acceptable video formats include:

  • .webm

If your DVD is not transcoded to a web-ready format, we recommend using open source video transcoder programs such as Handbrake for conversion.

Audio Files

The preferred formats for audio files uploaded to cIRcle are:

  • .ac3
  • .aif/.aiff
  • .mp3
  • .wav
  • .wma

Acceptable audio formats include:

  • .m4a

When digitally encoding your audio files, please use a high quality (192kbps or higher) setting.

Image Files

The preferred formats for image files uploaded to cIRcle are:

  • .bmp
  • .gif
  • .jpg
  • .tif/.tiff

Acceptable image formats include:

  • .png

Data Files

As described by UBC Library, “Research data is the data created or generated as part of a research project and exists in many formats including numeric data, text, transcripts, images, video and audio recordings.”[1]

For best practices on how to format data files see the UBC Library Research Data Management website

Other Files

Acceptable formats for other files uploaded to cIRcle include:

  • .xml
  • .zip