Update: April 4, 2022

After three rounds of voting with a great participation, the subject of our next data curation primer will be:

PPKX! This is an ArcGIS format that contains an entire project. From the help website:

Project packages (.ppkx files) allow you to share complete projects. A project package is a file that contains all maps and the data referenced by its layers, as well as folder connections, toolboxes, geoprocessing history, and attachments. 


In the final round, PPKX was against XLSM, and won out, 19 votes to 12.

Original post:

The Data Curation Network in incredibly pleased to share an update on our March 2022 event: March Madness! If you have ever loved the brackets of March Madness but wished the teams could be replaced with file formats, this event is for you.

Designed to help bring our community together over a shared curation challenge and to develop new tools and resources that would benefit the entire research data management community, the DCN is excited to pilot this event. We know our curation primers are incredibly helpful for all data curators, so we wanted to be sure that any event we created would be of practical value– and we hope this is both fun and of use.


During the last few weeks of February, we reached out to our DCN members and the wider research data management community to ask:

On which data format or discipline should we create a new curation primer that would be of benefit to the RDM community?

Luckily, we received some wonderful submissions– but now we have to narrow down our bracket to decide for which format we will collaboratively create a data curation primer.

Join us — Cast your vote!

Over the next three weeks, ending on April 1 at 5pm Pacific, we will host three rounds of voting. Voting will open on Tuesday morning (8am EST) and run through Friday each week. The results and next round will be shared on the following Tuesday.

Each round will have a different prompt to help decide which format is the most pressing need for our community:

  1. Round 1: Vote for which format you are most interested in
  2. Round 2: Vote for which format you are most likely to receive from a researcher at your institution
  3. Round 3: Vote for which format you know the least about

Please join us– vote in Round 1 now, and check back for Round 2 next week!

Helpful Links

Voting link: https://z.umn.edu/dcn-march-madness— this will be the link for every round! (this link is now inactive– thanks for participating!)

Bracket link, which includes links to either information about the format or a sample dataset: https://z.umn.edu/dcn-march-madness-bracket


Results from Round 1:

  1. Column binary (30/39 votes) v. EBCDIC (extended binary-coded decimal interchange code) (9/30)
  2. PPKX (23/40 votes) v. docx (17/40)
  3. xlsm* (20/40 votes) v. drone imagery (20/40)
  4. OPJ (24/39 votes) v. pzfx (15/39)

*This bracket — between drone imagery and xlsm– was exactly even. To break the tie, Mikala assigned drone imagery heads, and xlsm tails. A DCN Member, without knowing which format was heads and tails, flipped a coin and reported it back to Mikala. The result was tails.

Results from Round 2:

  1. PPKX (16/30 votes) v. Column binary (14/30)
  2. xlsm (20/29 votes) v. opj (9/20)

Results from Round 3:

  1. PPKX (19/31 votes) v. xlsm (12/31)

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