National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program

Preservation and Management of Digital Records

Streamflow variability as recorded at a stream gage

Streamflow variability as recorded at a stream gage near one of our study sites during a regional drought.

Management and curation of information resources, including paper documents, digitally transcribed or scanned images, as well as sample and photograph collections represent a substantial component of the holdings and value of repositories.  USGS and state geological surveys continue to scan paper media to digital formats for public distribution on the Web. The digital files are stored on various media, such as servers, hard drives, CDs. Maintained and routinely backed up servers are the preferred storage method for archived digital files.

Universally Unique Identifiers

The System for Earth Sample Registration (SESAR) is a centralized system that provides scientists and collection managers with universally unique identifiers (UUIDs) for research samples. These identifiers provided by SESAR, known as International Geo Sample Numbers (IGSNs), allow samples to be tracked on a global scale and are designed to maintain a permanent link between the sample and any resultant data that appears in publications and digital data sets.

SESAR is a project of the EarthChem Program and part of the Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a national data facility funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF).  IGSNs are already being used by the USGS, and by some state geological surveys, as well as country-wide integration by Germany, Australia, and the European Geosciences Union.