Data Management

Data Catalogs

Data Catalogs and Portals are places where one can search for data. While Repositories physically hold data, Data Catalogs and Portals use metadata to provide searchable directories for data. Submitting your metadata to Data Portals and Catalogs makes them more visible and more likely to be used by others.

USGS Metadata Catalog Requirement

USGS Metadata Catalog Requirement

USGS policy requires that metadata for approved USGS scientific data must be deposited in and shared through the USGS Science Data Catalog (SDC).

Visit the SDC

USGS Science Data Catalog 

Screenshot of the USGS Science Data Catalog

Screenshot of the USGS Science Data Catalog

The USGS Science Data Catalog (SDC) provides seamless access to USGS research and monitoring data from across the nation. Users have the ability to search, browse, or use a map-based interface to discover USGS data.

Learn how to deposit your metadata records to the SDC below.


U.S. Department of the Interior Data Catalog

The Department of the Interior (DOI) aggregates metadata from USGS, as well as the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement, to populate a catalog at

This catalog in turn supplies metadata from all of DOI to

" is the home of the U.S. Government's open data.

You can find Federal, state and local data, tools, and resources to conduct research, build apps, design data visualizations, and more." (From is the signature initiative of the broader Open Data effort, designed to more effectively share U.S. governmental data. Agencies, including USGS, are making concerted efforts to effectively describe and share their data resources, and integrate them across agency boundaries. A range of communities available in provide thematic and focused views of select topics.


Identify your submission pathway to the Science Data Catalog

There are 3 ways to deposit your metadata record for your data in the SDC. Please choose only one method, to avoid duplicate record submissions.

  1. ScienceBase Data Release

    If you are releasing your data through the formal ScienceBase Data Release process, your metadata will be sent automatically to the SDC on the Saturday following the release in ScienceBase. Please refer to the ScienceBase Data Release page for instructions.

  2. Local metadata aggregation and submission by select centers/programs

    If you are publishing your data through one of the following centers/programs, your metadata is consolidated locally with other metadata from your location and provided to the SDC through a single weekly harvest process. Please contact the coordinator listed next to your program/science center to submit your XML metadata record through this local aggregation process. The Science Data Catalog harvests from these locally managed Web Accessible Folders (WAFs) every Saturday.

    Alaska Science Center (Dennis Walworth |
    Coastal & Marine Geology Program (Peter Schweitzer |
    Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center (Ryan Longhenry |
    Energy Program (Greg Gunther |
    Mineral Resources Program (Peter Schweitzer |
    National Geospatial Program (Rick Brown |
    Water NSDI Node (Mike Ierardi |

    Note: If you have released your data through a formal ScienceBase Data Release, and you are also affiliated with one of the above science centers, you can inform the ScienceBase Data Release Team that you will be providing your final metadata to your local metadata aggregation coordinator; the Team will 'untag' your record so that a duplicate copy is not sent to the SDC from ScienceBase.

  3. Individual XML metadata record upload to the Science Data Catalog

    If options 1 or 2 do not apply to you - your data are not being released through the formal ScienceBase Data Release process, and you are not affiliated with one of the centers/programs identified in (2) - you can submit your XML metadata record directly to the SDC using the individual metadata record submission form (USGS Active Directory login required). Records uploaded through this process are indexed by the SDC on the Saturday following successful upload. We encourage you to coordinate this activity with your program/center data manager to ensure that your record is not accidentally submitted by more than one person.

    Note: If you need to submit a revised version of a metadata record you have already submitted to the SDC, please contact the Catalog team at, to ensure that the previous version of your record is deleted from the Catalog before you upload the revised version.


What the U.S. Geological Survey Manual Requires: 

The USGS Survey Manual Chapter 502.7 – Fundamental Science Practices: Metadata for USGS Scientific Information Products Including Data states that metadata for approved scientific data must be deposited in and shared through the USGS Science Data Catalog (  Creators of these metadata must ensure that records are developed in a format (for example, xml) accepted by clearinghouses or repositories, such as the USGS Science Data Catalog.