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The arrangement of data (as on a magnetic tape). Digital seismic formats are specified by SEG (1980), positional data standards by SEG (1983), MT/EMAP data interchange standards by SEG (1988). Involves the placement of bits of different significance, number of bits per byte and bytes per word, parity, multiplexing arrangement, timing and gain information, record identification, other auxiliary data, gaps, start-stop codes, etc. Specific computer systems may use their own format so that the first step with new data may be to reformat it.