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Data Catalogs

Data Catalogs and Portals are places where one can search for data. While Repositories physically hold data, Data Catalogs and Portals use metadata to provide searchable directories for data. Submitting your metadata to Data Portals and Catalogs makes them more visible and more likely to be used by others.

USGS Science Data Catalog 

Screenshot of the USGS Science Data Catalog
Screenshot of the USGS Science Data Catalog

The USGS Science Data Catalog (SDC) provides seamless access to USGS research and monitoring data from across the nation. Users have the ability to search, browse, or use a map-based interface to discover USGS data.

Learn how to deposit your metadata records to the SDC below.


U.S. Department of the Interior Data Catalog

The Department of the Interior (DOI) aggregates metadata from USGS, as well as the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement, to populate a catalog at

This catalog in turn supplies metadata from all of DOI to

" is the home of the U.S. Government's open data.

You can find Federal, state and local data, tools, and resources to conduct research, build apps, design data visualizations, and more." (From is the signature initiative of the broader Open Data effort, designed to more effectively share U.S. governmental data. Agencies, including USGS, are making concerted efforts to effectively describe and share their data resources, and integrate them across agency boundaries. A range of communities available in provide thematic and focused views of select topics.


Other Catalogs

  • USGS Model Catalog - a new collection of information on scientific models developed by the USGS, and other scientific models developed by external organizations used in USGS investigations.
  • - a source for usable open source code from federal agency partners.
  • PubsWarehouse – Houses over 160,000 publications written by USGS scientists.


Identify your submission pathway to the Science Data Catalog

There are 3 ways to deposit your metadata record for your data in the SDC. Please choose only one method, to avoid duplicate record submissions.

  1. ScienceBase Data Release

    If you are releasing your data through the formal ScienceBase Data Release process, your metadata automatically be assigned a persistent identifier (see PID) and will be sent automatically to the SDC on the Saturday following the release in ScienceBase. Please refer to the ScienceBase Data Release page for instructions.

  2. Local metadata aggregation and submission by select centers/programs

    If you are publishing your data through one of the following centers/programs, your metadata is consolidated locally with other metadata from your location and provided to the SDC through a single weekly harvest process. Please contact the coordinator listed next to your program/science center to submit your XML metadata record through this local aggregation process, and check for persistent identifier assignment responsibilites (see PID assignment below). The Science Data Catalog harvests from these locally managed Web Accessible Folders (WAFs) every Saturday.

    Alaska Science Center (Dennis Walworth |
    Coastal & Marine Geology Program (Peter Schweitzer |
    Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center (Ryan Longhenry |
    Energy Program (Greg Gunther |
    Mineral Resources Program (Peter Schweitzer |
    National Geospatial Program (Rick Brown |
    Water NSDI Node (Mike Ierardi |

    Note: If you have released your data through a formal ScienceBase Data Release, and you are also affiliated with one of the above science centers, you can inform the ScienceBase Data Release Team that you will be providing your final metadata to your local metadata aggregation coordinator; the Team will 'untag' your record so that a duplicate copy is not sent to the SDC from ScienceBase.


Persistent Identifier (PID) Assignment

The latest USGS Science Data Catalog (SDC) now requires that every metadata record be assigned a unique persistent identifier (PID), so that records can be individually tracked in both the SDC and the downstream federal catalogs for uniqueness, provenance, and versioning. The metadata PID must be unique, registered in the USGS Asset Identifier Service (AIS) and must be placed in a specific location in the CSDGM or ISO XML record. Depending upon the repository selected, the metadata PID may need to be assigned by the metadata author prior to deposit in the repository, or it may be assigned by the repository staff as part of the finalization of the data release. Consult the PIR Tool FAQ site for information regarding responsible party for metadata PID registration and insertion in the final XML file.


What the U.S. Geological Survey Manual Requires: 

The USGS Survey Manual Chapter 502.7 – Fundamental Science Practices: Metadata for USGS Scientific Information Products Including Data states that metadata for approved scientific data must be deposited in and shared through the USGS Science Data Catalog (  Creators of these metadata must ensure that records are developed in a format (for example, xml) accepted by clearinghouses or repositories, such as the USGS Science Data Catalog.

Page last updated 12/18/23.