ⓘ Self-defining Text Archive and Retrieval. The Self-Defining Text Archive and Retrieval File, or simply the STAR File, is a text-based file format for storing st ..

                                     

ⓘ Self-defining Text Archive and Retrieval

The Self-Defining Text Archive and Retrieval File, or simply the STAR File, is a text-based file format for storing structured data. It was proposed in 1991 by Sydney R. Hall. The format became widely used in molecular-structure sciences, although it is not specific to this field - it was designed as a universal approach to electronic data exchange and archiving.

A feature of the format of a star file is that the keys are the names of the data in a key / value that begins with an underscore. They are separated from the data values only by a space, for example:

_format "STAR File" _first_published 1991

The format was designed to provide concise syntax for tabular data. Designs for this is called a Loop. Loops to start with loop_ site, and then names corresponding to the columns and then the values.

loop_ _geom_bond_atom_site_label_1 _geom_bond_atom_site_label_2 _geom_bond_distance O1 C8 1.3013 O1 Na1 2.1612 O2 C36 1.4254 O2 C39 1.4254 O2 Na1 2.5143 O3 C31 1.4214 #.

Using "dictionary file definition language", is itself a star file, star sub-format can be defined for specific use cases. One notable star-format is a format crystallographic information file.

"Star file" name is a registered trademark of the International Union of crystallography.