USGS Science Data Catalog-Open Data Advances or Declines


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Publication Type:

Conference Paper


AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts (2014)

The recent Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) White House Open Data Policies (2013) have required Federal agencies to establish formal catalogues of their science data holdings and make these data easily available on Web sites, portals, and applications. As an organization, the USGS has historically excelled at making its data holdings freely available on its various Web sites (i.e., National, Scientific Programs, or local Science Center). In response to these requirements, the USGS Core Science Analytics, Synthesis, and Libraries program, in collaboration with DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Mercury Consortium (funded by NASA, USGS, and DOE), and a number of other USGS organizations, established the Science Data Catalog ( cyberinfrastructure, content management processes/tools, and supporting policies. The USGS Science Data Catalog led the charge at USGS to improve the robustness of existing/future metadata collections; streamline and develop sustainable publishing to external aggregators (i.e.,; and provide leadership to the U.S. Department of Interior in emerging Open Data policies, techniques, and systems. The session will discuss the current successes, challenges, and movement toward meeting these Open Data policies for USGS scientific data holdings. A retrospective look at the last year of implementation of these efforts within USGS will occur to determine whether these Open Data Policies are improving data access or limiting data availability. To learn more about the USGS Science Data Catalog, visit us at