Office of Science Quality and Integrity

E.3 Restricted-File Federal Interagency Report (RFFIR) series (formerly Administrative Report series)

E. Extended Guidance and Specific Products

 

 

E.3.1. Under what circumstances should products in the Restricted-File Federal Interagency Report (RFFIR) series (formerly Administrative Report series) be prepared?

These limited-use publication series products are prepared when directed by USGS management in concert with or independent of a request from a U.S. Government agency, foreign government or agency, or international entity funding partner. The USGS should never seek to produce an RFFIR instead of another USGS publication series product or journal article. RFFIRs are directed and (or) requested when investigations involve threatened or endangered species or are in support of confidential negotiations or litigation. In no circumstances should an RFFIR be used in an attempt to circumvent the USGS FSP, editing, or other publication requirements. An example of when an RFFIR might be correctly requested is when a Department of the Interior trustee council requests a report from the USGS to support the trustee’s Natural Resource Damage Assessment activities. 

 

E.3.2. What are the possible format options for RFFIRs?

A letter report is one possible format for an RFFIR. An optional template for RFFIRs is available. There is no requirement to use a USGS template, but some USGS authors opt to use the USGS manuscript template because they are familiar with it. If the manuscript template is used, the USGS Visual Identity System identifier/logo and suggested citation section of the front matter must be removed or replaced with wording noting the report is prepared for the requesting Federal agency.

 

E.3.3. How do RFFIR series products relate to the cooperator publication product type in the IPDS? 

Cooperator publications are never the same as USGS RFFIRs, which are confidential reports produced by the USGS solely for a U.S. Government agency, foreign government or agency, or international entity funding partner. A scientific information product published by a USGS author within a cooperator’s report series is called a “cooperator publication” (as described in E.4.9) and is one of the product type choices in the IPDS.

 

E.3.4. As an author, what is my responsibility for maintaining official copies of my Bureau-approved RFFIR?

A printed copy of each RFFIR must be sent to the USGS Library (Reston) for the Library’s limited-access storage. The copy should be marked “For placement in limited-access storage” and include the name of the USGS science center or program that produced the report. Address copies as follows:

U.S. Geological Survey Library
950 National Center
Attn: USGS Library Director, Room 1C200
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192

Another copy of the RFFIR should be maintained with other project material in accordance with the Department’s policy regarding official records.

 

E.3.5. How can I convert an RFFIR series product publicly released by the receiving U.S. Government agency, foreign government or agency, or international entity funding partner into a USGS Open-File Report (OFR) series product so that it can be cited and will be indexed in the Publications Warehouse? 

Establish a new scientific information product in the IPDS for the OFR and reference on the Bibliodata Tab (Related IP Number field) the IP number of the RFFIR. Transfer the content of the RFFIR into the USGS manuscript template and place this new OFR manuscript into the IPDS under the “Documents” tab for review and approval. Consult with your local PSC chief regarding publication requirements for manuscripts released in the OFR series. The peer reviews (two minimum) and SPN editorial review with markup files and reconciliation documentation are placed into the IPDS. Final approval of the OFR must be done by a BAO in the OSQI whereby a publication series number is assigned. Upon approval, the IPDS workflow is routed to the SPN for completion of the manuscript layout and publication and for completion of entries in the Bibliodata Tab in the IPDS to enable proper indexing in the Publications Warehouse

 

E.3.6. Can I cite or index RFFIRs on a USGS public-facing web page? 

RFFIRs are not to be referenced, posted, or indexed on USGS public-facing web pages or included in a list of publications on individual staff profile pages. Because RFFIRs are not citable, they are not to be indexed in the USGS Publications Warehouse or included in a list of publications on individual staff profile pages.

 

E.3.7. What are the entities for which I can and cannot prepare RFFIRs? 

To preserve USGS impartiality, the RFFIR series is to be used for confidential communication between the USGS and a U.S. Government agency, foreign government or agency, or international entity funding partner. RFFIRs cannot be produced for private communications with compact commissions, State, local, and Tribal governmental agencies, or U.S. nongovernmental or academic organizations.  Tribes should be treated as a State government instead of as a foreign government in terms of the inability of the USGS to produce a confidential RFFIR for them. Confidential reports to Tribes or consortia of Tribes are disallowed to avoid potential bias or conflict of interest towards Tribes versus State and local governments and to avoid conflicts of interest that might arise if USGS Federal Matching Funds are used for the Tribal work.

 

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