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Are USGS reports copyrighted?

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Public Domain.


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Hello and welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Steve Sobieszczyk. Today we're looking publishing.

Are USGS reports copyrighted?

USGS-authored or produced data and information are in the public domain. While the content of most USGS web pages and reports are in the public domain, not all information, illustrations, or photographs are. Some are used by USGS with permission. In those cases, you may need to obtain permission from the copyright holder under the copyright law. You are welcome to make a link to any of the websites USGS has published online. There is no need to request permission. However, the use of the USGS visual identifier, or logo, is restricted to official publications. When using information from USGS products, publications, or websites, we ask that proper credit be given. Credit can be provided by including a citation such as:

Credit: U. S. Geological Survey/photo by Steven Sobieszczyk (or photographer's name) or if the originating office is known but the artist or scientist is not, it can be sited as: USGS/Portland, OR (for example).

Additional information is available from links in our show notes: USGS Privacy Policy and Disclaimers and Acknowledging or Crediting USGS as Information Source.

If you have questions concerning the use of USGS information, contact us at 1-888-ASK-USGS or 1-888-275-8747.

And now you know. Join us every weekday for a new CoreFact. If you have a question you think we should answer on the air, email it to us at or leave us a voicemail at 703-648-5600; long distance fees do apply.

The USGS CoreFacts is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.

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