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The USGS does not require a specific format when citing our websites. You should follow the citation guidelines provided by instructors or publication editors as appropriate.
Unless you are citing a specific USGS publication, the author of a USGS website is almost always "U.S. Geological Survey". Also acceptable: "United States Geological Survey" or "USGS".
Most USGS informational websites are updated/published daily. That does not include online datasets and some older USGS websites. Look for "page last modified" dates in the footer or using your browser's page information options. For datasets, look in the metadata.
U.S. Geological Survey, 2020, Earthquake Lists, Maps, and Statistics, accessed March 18, 2020 at URL https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/earthquake-hazards/lists-maps-and-statistics
U.S. Geological Survey, 2018, Water Science School: Acid Rain and Water at https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/acid-rain-and-water. (Accessed May 14, 2018)
U.S. Geological Survey, 2020, National Water Information System data available on the World Wide Web (USGS Water Data for the Nation), accessed January 10, 2020, at URL https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/
Learn more: USGS Data Citation
USGS-authored or produced data and information are considered to be in the U.S. public domain and can be freely used without permission. All we ask is that you acknowledge the USGS as the source.While the content of most USGS webpages is in the U.S. public domain, not all information, illustrations, or photographs on our site are. Some non-USGS photographs, images, and/or graphics that appear on...
The USGS Publications Warehouse is an online catalog for searching all USGS publications and downloading free digital versions.USGS Libraries contain sets of all USGS publications plus many state geological survey publications. The public go in person to any USGS library to do research, but USGS library materials can only be borrowed by placing a request with your local library for Interlibrary...
Out-of-print USGS publications and maps, depending on series and date, can be obtained in various ways:Check the USGS Publications Warehouse for online availability. If the publication is listed but does not have a link to a digital version, contact the Publications Warehouse Team to request a digital copy.Borrow from your local public, academic, or corporate library through a request for...