USGS Data Management
Data Management: Publication & Sharing
The ability to prepare and issue, or disseminate, quality data to the public and to other agencies is an important part of the lifecycle process. The data should be medium- and agent-independent, with an understanding that transfer may occur via automated or non-automated mechanisms. We need to ensure that data are shared, but with controls to protect proprietary and pre-decisional data and the integrity of the data itself. Data sharing also requires complete metadata to be useful to those who are receiving the data.
What the U. S. Geological Survey Manual Says:
The USGS Manual Chapter 1100.3 - U.S. Geological Survey Publication Series discusses the publication of information products, which includes data products:
"Background: The USGS mission to describe and understand the Earth is not complete until the results of USGS investigations have been published and disseminated to those who need the information. The USGS has proprietary interest in, and is accountable for, the work performed by its employees and contractors."
The USGS Manual Chapter 1100.6 - Use of Copyrighted Material in USGS Information Products covers the use of copyrighted material in information products, which includes data products:
"Policy: Copyrighted material will not knowingly be incorporated into any information product prepared by or for the USGS, except with the written consent of the copyright owner. . . . Purchase agreements should refer to both the material that is copyrighted and the copyright permission because they are distinct and both need to be acquired."
Note: Information Product: An information product is the compilation of scientific communication or knowledge such as facts, data, or interpretations in any medium (e.g., print, digital, Web) or form, including textual, numerical, graphical, cartographic, or audiovisual, to be disseminated to a defined audience or customer, scientific or nonscientific, internal or external.
The USGS Manual Chapter 1100.4 - Use of Outside Publications, Including Abstracts addresses the issue of copyright in external publications:
"Policy: Generally, Government information prepared by an employee as part of that person's official duties that is submitted to outside publication is in the public domain and may not be copyrighted. . . . Questions on copyright in jointly created works should be referred to the Bureau solicitor."