Imagine that you were handed a disk full of data saying nothing but, “Plot it up!” With common data formats that are machine independent and self-describing, you could do that and expect success.
Original Publication Citation
Atkinson, L., & Hankin, S. (1995). The oceanographer's toolkit: Common data formats. Oceanography, 8(3), 100-101. doi: 10.5670/oceanog.1995.07
Atkinson, Larry and Hankin, Steve, "The Oceanographer's Toolkit: Common Data Formats" (1995). CCPO Publications. 180.