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Quick Access Links For USGS Data and Software Release

Have lots of information to navigate? This page contains high-level, key information needed to release data and software in one place. We will keep it updated with quick access info!


The need to provide transparent and reproducible scientific data, metadata, and software to the public is driving changes to the way federally funded science is planned, conducted, and disseminated. In response to these developments, the USGS issued four Survey Manual chapters that formalized requirements for all data products released by the bureau. These policies, and a subsequent Instructional Memorandum (IM) on related software, address scientific data and software management and release to meet open data and public access requirements established by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

Program Coordinators and Science Center Directors shall work with project and task leaders to comply with these policies. These policies also implement the USGS Public Access Plan, which describes how USGS is providing public access to scholarly publications and digital scientific data resulting from research funded by the USGS. The Public Access Plan is available at: USGS Public Access Plan.


Survey Manual Chapters Addressing Data Management


These Survey Manual chapters outline specific requirements to release USGS scientific data, including:

  1. data management plan describing data to be collected, analyzed and released during the project
  2. USGS Fundamental Science Practices (FSP)-compliant peer review of data and metadata, undertaken within USGS Information Product Data System
  3. FGDC-compliant metadata describing the data
  4. Digital Object Identifier (DOI) specific to USGS, and pointing to the data
  5. Making the data available through the DOI at a reliable and publicly available digital data repository approved by USGS
  6. Making the released metadata describing the data available in the USGS Science Data Catalog

FAQs for the data management policies (SM 502.6-502.9) are available.

Instructional Memorandum Addressing Review and Approval of Scientific Software for Public Release

This IM is currently being revised for eventual conversion to a Survey Manual chapter. Please check the Fundamental Science Practices  Policy Directives page for any updated software guidance. FAQs for the scientific software release policy are available.

Visit the Software Management Website to learn best practices for managing, reviewing, and releasing your scripts.

This Web page will be updated as new resources are available.