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2019 Open Access Week: USGS Tools for Achieving Open Access

October 23, 2019

The USGS Science Data Management Branch (in the Core Science Systems Mission Area) offers three publicly accessible tools that support the USGS’s open access effort: Metadata Wizard, ScienceBase, and USGS Science Data Catalog.

Metadata Wizard

The Metadata Wizard is a desktop resource to help ArcGIS Desktop users create and edit metadata compliant with the Federal Geographic Data Committee’s 'Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata' (FGDC-CSDGM). Metadata information is extracted directly from the input data set where possible; through automated methods, the tool will supplement the spatial domain information and certain components of the spatial data organization, spatial reference, and entity/attribute sections of the metadata record. Users are also presented with several jargon-free interfaces to collect other informational elements, with the goal of making metadata creation simple and efficient. The Metadata Wizard is freely available; however, the tool supports the import of thesaurus values and contact personnel for USGS users, as well as XML template use, auto-population of tabular and spatial information, and direct integration with the USGS Metadata Parser (MP).


ScienceBase is a robust science data platform developed and maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to provide shared, permission-controlled access to scientific data products and Bureau resources. ScienceBase is designed to add value to digital data by exposing well-organized, documented datasets and scientific information over the web. Content within ScienceBase Catalog is stored in a standardized model with consistent informational facets. This enables powerful querying capabilities and makes it possible to integrate content into dynamic collections and connect ScienceBase-hosted data to external applications and workflows. ScienceBase is a Trusted Digital Repository for the Bureau and has an established process for formal release of USGS funded science data.

USGS Science Data Catalog

The USGS Science Data Catalog (SDC) is a single point of discovery for publicly released USGS data collected at national, regional, or local scales. USGS provides reliable scientific data and information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life. The SDC offers catalog search, browse, and map-based discovery of USGS data, as well as online access to both the final data and original metadata describing purpose, scope, structure, and provenance. The SDC also publishes content to downstream federal catalogs, including the Interior and catalogs.

For more information on Open-Access Resources, check out the Library’s guide here:

For more information on 2019 OA Week (October 21 to 27), see