The file formats you use have a direct impact on your ability to open those files at a later date and on the ability of other people to access those data.
You should save data in a non-proprietary (open) file format when possible. If conversion to an open data format will result in some data loss from your files, you might consider saving the data in both the proprietary format and an open format, as the Open Format will ensure that these files will be available to you later.
When it is necessary to save files in a proprietary format, consider including a readme.txt file in your directory that documents the name and version of the software used to generate the file, as well as the company who made the software. This could help you down the road as it will help you to determine how to open these files again
When selecting file formats for archiving, the formats should ideally be:
Some additional resources for identifying preferred long-term preservation file formats include:
UBC Library. Research Data Management. Format. Accessed March 8th, 2021. https://researchdata.library.ubc.ca/plan/format-your-data/
Research Data Management DataGuide. UBC Library. Accessed March 8th, 2021 https://researchdata.library.ubc.ca/files/files/2017/05/RDM_DataGuide_V04.2_20170530.pdf
Stanford Libraries, Research Support, Data Management Services. “Best practices for file formats”. Accessed February 22, 2021, https://library.stanford.edu/research/data-management-services/data-best-practices/best-practices-file-formats