Information Policies and Instructions

Public Release of Information

The USGS, as the science arm of the Department of the Interior and the earth and natural science agency for the Nation, has an ongoing obligation to keep the broadest spectrum of the public advised and engaged in its scientific research, investigations, and ongoing information releases. The USGS Home Page, its links to science information of the various programs and activities of the USGS, the resources of the USGS News site, and the USGS search function all provide prompt and easy public access to the results of USGS scientific research and investigations.

Section 207 (f) (2) of the E-Government Act of 2002 requires Government agencies to develop an inventory of information to be published on their Web site. The purpose of Section 207 (f) (2) is to improve the methods by which Government information, including information on the Internet, is organized, preserved, and made accessible to the public. More information on this requirement can be found on the National Archives and Records Administration website.

Policy on Release of Information - As an integral part of its mission, the USGS has a continuing responsibility to keep the public informed of its various programs, activities, and research. It is the policy of the USGS to conduct its activities and to make the results of its scientific investigations available in a manner that will best serve the whole public, rather than the interest or benefit of any special group, corporation, or individual. The Internet affords the USGS a mechanism to achieve that broad distribution, impartially and simultaneously, in accordance with its mission and information dissemination policy.

Schedule and Priorities for Release of Information - The diversity of scientific expertise enables the USGS to carry out large-scale, multidisciplinary investigations that build the base of knowledge about the Earth. In turn, decisionmakers at all levels of government—and citizens in all walks of life—have the information tools they need to address pressing societal issues. As such, there is no set schedule on which the USGS releases its information; rather, the readiness of the science for release determines the schedule. Priority of release is consistent with the Department of the Interior Schedule of Content.

News releases are issued and information is posted on the USGS Home Page whenever a significant earthquake or other natural disaster occurs, a major personnel appointment is announced, budget information is available, or a science program has results to announce.

The USGS is a scientific publisher and regularly and routinely presents the results of its scientific research and investigations in printed and/or online format in publication series. Bibliographic citations and information on accessing and obtaining USGS information products are available in the USGS Publications Warehouse.

Contact - If you have questions concerning release of USGS information, contact the USGS.