The present and next few years will see the arrival of several new coronagraphic instruments dedicated to the detection and characterization of planetary systems. These ground- and space-based instruments (Gemini/GPI, VLT/SPHERE, Subaru/ CHARIS, JWST NIRCam and MIRI coronagraphs among others), will provide a large number of new candidates, through multiple nearby-star surveys and will complete and extend those acquired with current generation instruments (Palomar P1640, VLT/NACO, Keck, HST). To optimize the use of the wealth of data, including non-detection results, the science products of these instruments will require to be shared among the community. In the long term such data exchange will significantly ease companion confirmations, planet characterization via different type of instruments (integral field spectrographs, polarimetric imagers, etc.), and Monte-Carlo population studies from detection and non-detection results. In this context, we initiated a collaborative effort between the teams developing the data reduction pipelines for SPHERE, GPI, and the JWST coronagraphs, and the ALICE (Archival Legacy Investigations of Circumstellar Environment) collaboration, which is currently reprocessing all the HST/NICMOS coronagraphic surveys. We are developing a standard format for the science products generated by high-contrast direct imaging instruments (reduced image, sensitivity limits, noise image, candidate list, etc.), that is directly usable for astrophysical investigations. In this paper, we present first results of this work and propose a preliminary format adopted for the science product. We call for discussions in the high-contrast direct imaging community to develop this effort, reach a consensus and finalize this standard. This action will be critical to enable data interchange and combination in a consistent way between several instruments and to stiffen the scientific production in the community.