Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Fundamental Science Practices (FSP) Home

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides unbiased, objective, and impartial scientific information upon which our audiences, including resource managers, planners, and other entities, rely.

Since the inception of the USGS in 1879, the agency has maintained comprehensive internal and external policies and procedures for ensuring the quality and integrity of its science. This has led to the reputation of USGS being noted for science excellence and objectivity. In 2006, the scientific policies and procedures were updated, and are now known as USGS Fundamental Science Practices (FSP)—a set of consistent practices, philosophical premises, and operational principles that serve as the foundation for research and monitoring activities related to USGS science.

The FSP clarifies how USGS science is carried out and how the resulting information products (including maps, imagery, and publications) are developed, reviewed, approved, and released.

The USGS FSP Advisory Council (FSPAC) is in place to address FSP related questions and concerns. In addition to a core group of members, the FSPAC’s work is also accomplished by various subcommittees convened to address specific topics. To contact the FSPAC, send an e-mail to

This site provides detailed information and guidance about FSP and related resource information of interest to the public. Other science related resource information the USGS provides that is associated with FSP includes quality management for USGS laboratories, managing scientific collectionspublishing USGS information productsindexing information products in the Publications Warehousedata management, software management, and library services.

For USGS Scientists and Other Employees: Some additional FSP and related guidance and resource information for internal use only is available on the USGS FSP intranet site.