Office of Science Quality and Integrity

E.5 Reporting of Project Progress

E. Extended Guidance and Specific Products

 

 

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

Progress reporting can involve noninterpretive scientific information, interpretive scientific information from published sources, or new interpretative scientific information. Content type dictates how FSP apply and whether tracking in the IPDS is required.

 

E.5.2. How are presentations for reporting project progress categorized?

There are three categories of presentations for reporting project status information distinguished chiefly by audience:

Category A) communications among collaborating co-investigators (those likely to be coauthors on an interpretive product) to prepare datasets and develop interpretations;

Category B) talks, lectures, posters, or other communications to formal conferences or meetings of scientific societies and professional organizations; and

Category C) communications to cooperators, steering councils, or stakeholder groups.

 

E.5.3. What are the requirements for communicating unpublished draft interpretations and other project status information among collaborating scientists?

Draft interpretations are new interpretive scientific information in provisional status; hence, material prepared for communicating this scientific information among collaborating co-investigators (Category A in FAQ E5.2) must include the appropriate disclaimer indicating the 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. Always label drafts with “Preliminary Information-Subject to Revision. Not for Citation or Distribution” and include the applicable disclaimer from those available at the FSP website Guidance on Disclaimer Statements Allowed in USGS Science Information Products.

 

E.5.4. What type categories of progress reporting are subject to FSP review and approval requirements?

Presentations to formal conferences or meetings of scientific societies and professional organizations (Category B in FAQ E5.2) are subject to FSP review and approval requirements (refer to SM 502.3, SM 502.4, and SM 205.18). This type of reporting is tracked through peer review to science center approval and Bureau approval in the Information Product Data System (IPDS) as the product types Abstract or Poster session, presentation, exhibit, newsletter regardless of the scientific information content.

Progress reporting to cooperators, steering councils, or stakeholder groups (Category C in FAQ E5.2) or progress reporting on a publicly accessible web page that is noninterpretive or that includes interpretations from published sources requires science center review and approval but is not tracked for approval in the IPDS.

Progress reporting of unpublished new interpretive scientific information to cooperators, steering councils, or stakeholder groups (Category C in FAQ E5.2) or on a publicly accessible web page is subject to FSP review and approval requirements (refer to SM 502.3, SM 502.4, and SM 205.18). That reporting must be done through the use of a USGS publication series product, such as an open-file report (OFR) or, for other Federal agencies only, a restricted file Federal interagency report (RFFIR), or through the use of an outside publication, such as a scientific journal or a report in a partner’s publication series, and requires tracking of peer review, editorial review (for an OFR or RFFIR), science center approval, and Bureau approval in the IPDS.

 

E.5.5. What are the specific FSP requirements for unpublished project status scientific information provided or delivered to a cooperator, steering council, or stakeholder group?

The first step for any unpublished project status, scientific information is review by the lead USGS scientist’s supervisor and Science Center Director.  Project status information that contains unpublished preliminary (new) interpretation requires review, approval, and publication before being delivered to the cooperator or posted on a publicly accessible web page. Noninterpretive project status scientific information and interpretive scientific information that is from published sources are not subject to FSP review and approval requirements prior to being provided or delivered to the cooperator.  The requirements for project status information delivered to a cooperator, steering council, or stakeholder group or progress reporting on a publicly accessible web page should not be confused with the requirements for presentation materials (refer to FAQ E.4.2. that are left or not left at scientific meetings and conferences.

 

E.5.6. Does unpublished project status scientific information require a disclaimer statement before it is delivered to a cooperator, steering council, or stakeholder group?

Unpublished project status scientific information can be delivered to a cooperator, steering council, or stakeholder group only if it is noninterpretive or if it includes interpretation only from published sources. A disclaimer would not be needed for these two types of information. Published sources must always be cited.

 

E.5.7. What formats can be used for project status information?

Project status scientific information is generally reported by various means such as in presentations, word processing documents (MS Word, MS Excel, PDF), printed correspondence (letters or memorandums), optical discs, email messages, or oral communications. Regardless of the format, FSP review and approval requirements depend on the content (noninterpretive information, interpretive scientific information from published sources, or new interpretative scientific information).

 

E.5.8. How would the requirements for reporting project progress appear in a tabulated format?

Refer to the sample chart that shows (in tabular format) FSP requirements for reporting project progress.

 

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