# E.2 Data

E. Extended Guidance and Specific Products

E.2.1. What are some examples of a dataset and a database?

Aggregated data received from an analytical laboratory for field samples or measurements made directly during fieldwork are both examples of datasets.  If a number of datasets are combined together into a searchable product or defined system, this product or system is an example of a database regardless of whether a formal database management system is used. A geologic map has a geospatial dataset, and when this dataset is combined with other regional datasets, the result is another example of a database. The National Water Information System (NWIS) is a database. Data retrieved from NWIS (such as a table of data) are a dataset.

E.2.2. What are the requirements related to planning and conducting data collection and research?

USGS data collection and research activities are governed by work plans that are reviewed by appropriate experts and approved at some level higher than the project chief, generally by the Science Center Manager or equivalent. A work plan, which can be a component of a proposal, is handled through the Bureau planning process. Proper documentation is required to ensure that scientific goals are achievable and are appropriate to the mission of the USGS, and that research can be interpreted appropriately. Data collection and research activities are carried out in a consistent, objective, and replicable manner that has been vetted through a vigorous and open process of peer review (refer to SM 502.2). Scientific information products resulting from data collection and research activities, regardless of the outlet in which they are published, must follow the appropriate requirements for review, approval, and release.

E.2.3. What Federal Government policies require the release of scientific data and how does the USGS intend to meet these requirements?