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New investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help expand and improve accessibility to the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program’s archives.

The U. S. Geological Survey today announced that the re-envisioned National Digital Catalog is about to receive a suite of upgrades and officially has a new name: ReSciColl, short for the Registry of Scientific Collections.

This upgrade, made possible in part by investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, completely re-envisions all USGS National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program existing archive materials.  The archives include USGS’s own holdings of geologic, geophysical, and engineering data, maps, well logs, and samples while incorporating metadata for the state geological survey collections. Changes are in the works to improve web and user accessibility and broaden the registry’s scope to include biological collections. In addition, all geologic, geophysical, and engineering data, maps, well logs, and samples will be searchable on mapping features. Once upgrades are complete, searches across all the holdings will be more accessible online to the tool’s users.

“The new name is pronounced like ‘recycle’ and reflects how the new registry will support the rescue and modernization of scientific assets for reuse,” said Lindsay Powers, Program Coordinator for the USGS National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program. “In keeping with the recycling theme, ReSciColl advances the FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) principles by improving ease of discovery and access to modernized geoscience data and physical materials for reuse.”

The initial capabilities of ReSciColl include the ReSciColl website, ReSciColl Map and Application Programming Interface (API). The ReSciColl website provides a single point of access for information about scientific collections and tools for organizations to share and manage their collections.

ReSciColl ingests the metadata describing collections records hosted on ScienceBase, a trusted digital repository, to the ReSciColl API for display in the map interface. ReSciColl Map shows users a map of collection locations with point-and-click features to access additional details down to individual records, e.g. physical samples. Users can also search the collection inventory by using a keyword search or categorical filters.

Future capabilities will include incorporation of the mdToolkit, which provide metadata creation, validation, and translation between metadata standards (e.g. CSDGM, ISO 19115-1, mdJSON, and SBJSON).

The ReSciColl website, map, and API are components of the National Digital Catalog rebuild that is currently in progress, which also includes:

  • Enhancement of scientific collections documentation to include the use of controlled vocabularies, persistent identifiers and rich metadata
  • Development of an interactive map and search application, ReSciColl Map and API
  • Enhancement of collection items documentation including PIDs to connect samples, collections, organizations, people and research products
  • Guidance for new documentation tools and requirements
  • New ReSciColl website as a single point of access for the tools and guidance.

The collections and items profiles, documentation tools, and guidance are in development. National Digital Catalog collections management tools, including the NDC Dashboard, will be rebranded to ReSciColl Dashboard and sunset when the enhanced documentation and tools are fully operational.

The ReSciColl website and map can be accessed here. More information on ReSciColl can be found here. More information on Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments at the USGS can be found here.

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