Office of Science Quality and Integrity

E.5 Reporting Project Progress

E. Extended Guidance and Specific Products

 

E.5.1. What types of project progress information can be reported and why is that important?

Project progress reporting can involve noninterpretive scientific information, previously published interpretive scientific information, or new interpretive scientific information as described in Fundamental Science Practices (FSP) Distinctions Between New Research or Interpretive Information Products, Previously Published or Noninterpretive Information Products, and Scientific Data. The type of content dictates how the FSP apply and whether tracking in the IPDS is required.

 

E.5.2. What formats can be used for reports of project progress?

Reports of project progress that contain non-interpretive or previously published interpretive information can be delivered in various formats, including slide presentations, word processing documents (e.g., MS Word, MS Excel, PDF), printed correspondence (letters or memorandums), optical discs, email messages, or oral communications. Reports of project progress that contain new interpretive content can be delivered in the following formats and product types and must be tracked in the IPDS: (1) abstract or poster session, presentation, exhibit, newsletter, (2) USGS publication series product, such as an OFR or RFFIR (refer to SM 1100.3), or (3) outside publication, such as a journal article or cooperator publication.

 

E.5.3. Is there a product type for reports of project progress in IPDS?

No. There is not a product type in the IPDS for reports of project progress (refer to FAQ E.5.2).

 

E.5.4. How is project progress reporting different from draft manuscripts or reports intended for publication?

Reports of project progress provide a summary of the status of a project, whereas draft project manuscripts or reports intended for publication present the results. Reports of project progress can include interpretative scientific information (as stated in E.5.1) but must not be used as a substitute for a manuscript or report of project results unless being provided for peer review, courtesy review, (SM 502.4), or published as a USGS OFR or RFFIR series publications or released in an outside publication. Refer to FAQ E.5.9 for additional information on courtesy reviews for reports of project progress.

 

E.5.5. What are the requirements for communicating unpublished interpretive content in reports of project progress among collaborators?

New interpretative information included in reports of project progress is preliminary or provisional. These materials can be prepared for communicating this scientific information among collaborators (those likely to be coauthors on an interpretive product and (or) funding cooperators) who can significantly contribute to the preparation of datasets and development of interpretations. These materials must include the appropriate disclaimer statements indicating the preliminary/provisional, deliberative, and predecisional nature of the information; the requirement to not disclose or release the information; and the waiving of USGS and U.S. Government liability. Reports of project progress must be labeled with “Preliminary Information Subject to Revision. Not for Citation or Distribution” and must include the applicable disclaimers from those available on the FSP web page linked above.

 

E.5.6. What are the FSP requirements for reports of project progress that contain new interpretations and are released to the greater stakeholder community, steering councils, or cooperating groups who are not directly contributing to project activities?

The first step for any reports of project progress is review by the lead USGS scientist’s supervisor and Science Center Director. If the project progress report contains new interpretations, then the reports of project progress also requires peer reviews, Bureau approval, and publication before being delivered to the greater community of stakeholders, steering councils, or cooperating groups who are not directly contributing to project activities. Once published, the reports of project progress-can be released publicly through methods such as posting on a publicly accessible web page or presenting at a public meeting. 

 

E.5.7. Which reports of project progress are subject to FSP review and approval requirements?

FSP review and approval of project progress depends on the content and intended distribution of the report. Project progress reporting that includes new, interpretive scientific information can only be released to collaborators (refer to E.5.5) who can significantly contribute to the preparation of datasets and development of interpretations. If a larger distribution of this type of project progress report is desired (such as posting to a publicly accessible web page) then the progress report must meet FSP peer review and approval requirements (refer to SM 502.3, SM 502.4, and SM 205.18). Reports of project progress that contain new interpretations must be entered into the IPDS and document the following tasks: at least two peer reviews with reconciliation, USGS SPN editorial review if published as an OFR or RFFIR, Science Center Director approval, and Bureau approval.

Conversely, for project progress reporting that does not include new interpretations and includes only noninterpretive content or interpretations from previously published sources (for example, reporting that consists mostly of project task tracking or accounting), FSP peer review or BAO approval is not required, but must be reviewed and approved by the Science Center Director. This type of reporting can be released through methods such as email, public presentation, publicly accessible web pages, or cooperator publications. IPDS tracking is not required for progress reports where the content is limited to providing the status of project tasks and accounting.

A chart showing more detailed FSP requirements for various product types used to report project progress is available.

 

E.5.8. May reports of project progress be discussed in conference presentations?

Reports of project progress that will be presented at a scientific conference must follow the FSP requirements for presentation materials that are left or not left at scientific meetings and conferences (refer to FAQ E.4.2).

 

E.5.9. How is reporting of project progress related to courtesy reviews by collaborating cooperators?

Reports of project progress are not related to the collaborator/partner courtesy reviews as described in SM 502.4, section 4.G. A report of project progress should not be used as a draft of a final project report sent to collaborating cooperators for courtesy review. While both types of reporting may contain new, interpretive content, a progress report discusses the status of project work and a draft of a final project report provided to collaborators for courtesy review discusses the results of the project.

 

E.5.10. Does a report of project progress that is noninterpretive or that includes interpretations only from previously published sources require a disclaimer statement before it is delivered to a cooperator, steering council, or stakeholder group?

A nonendorsement disclaimer statement, if appropriate, is the only statement that may be needed in a report of project progress that is noninterpretive or that includes interpretations only from previously published sources. Note, however, that published sources must always be cited.

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