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The U. S. Geological Survey shares its Science Data Catalog with a broader audience via DataONE

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Continuing a long partnership with the U. S. Geological Survey, DataONE welcomes the USGS Science Data Catalog (USGS SDC) to the federation.

One of the SDC’s primary goals is to meet White House Open Data reporting requirements by displaying USGS open data assets in a searchable public data listing. Receiving content from USGS Scientists, Programs, Data Managers, and Data Centers throughout the US, it provides a single point of entry for USGS records which are later displayed in Department of the Interior and data.gov indexes, among others.

SDC supports its varied data providers at all stages of their data management life cycle.

Its Search & Discovery Catalog allows for metadata retrieval, visualization, download, & linking back to original data providers. Data providers and metadata stewards receive support from SDC in ensuring submitted metadata meet minimum requirements (high standards) as well as ensuring the original submitters continue to control the public release of their content through SDC’s Data Provider Dashboard (ownership and control).

More information about USGS SDC and other DataONE Member Nodes can be found at http://www.dataone.org/current-member-nodes.

About DataONE:
DataONE enables universal access to data and also facilitates researchers in fulfilling their need for data management and in providing secure and permanent access to their data. DataONE offers the scientific community a suite of tools and training materials that cover all aspects of the data life cycle from data collection, to management, analysis and publication.

Why was the Science Data Catalog created?
On May 9, 2013, the White House released the Executive Order, "Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government." This Order, built upon an earlier interagency memorandum released by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), was accompanied by an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Policy and a site hosted on GitHub called Project Open Data, to guide implementation.

To meet the requirements outlined in these initiatives, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) undertook a variety of tasks in concert with the Department of the Interior (DOI) to display USGS open data assets in a searchable public data listing. This listing serves as an official inventory for meeting Office of Management and Budget requirements, and the SDC serves as a single point of entry for USGS records to display in Department of the Interior and data.gov indexes, among others.

What is in the Science Data Catalog?
The Science Data Catalog describes USGS-produced, authoritative data that have undergone the data release process outlined in USGS Fundamental Science Practices. The Catalog includes metadata describing individual datasets, data collections, and observational or remotely-sensed data contained in national systems (rather than records about individual observations). All items in the Science Data Catalog must contain an actionable link to the data or a data service. Links must lead to downloadable datasets, which may take the form of a zip file, an individual spreadsheet, a topographic map, or a USGS Data Series Report. Additionally, links may lead to an online data system containing hundreds or even thousands of individual datasets, where users are prompted to execute a more specific search. Finally, the metadata may include links to access the data via APIs and services, including map services.