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Purpose and benefits of U.S. Geological Survey Trusted Digital Repositories

June 11, 2020

Federal mandates and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS, also known as the Bureau) Fundamental Science Practices (FSP) policies require that publicly funded scientific data, publications, and derivative works be openly accessible to researchers and the public. Open access helps to leverage the public investment by making the acquired data and published information products—collectively referred to as “data assets”—easier to locate, reproduce, and reuse. Open access also provides transparency to the processes used to acquire and analyze the data, thereby helping to ensure the scientific integrity of USGS data and products.

The data assets produced by USGS programs, science centers, and projects are preserved digitally in various USGS and non-USGS repositories. To capitalize on the investment expended for data collection, analysis, and interpretation, these systems must remain useful and meaningful. For USGS repositories, the Bureau FSP Advisory Committee has implemented an evaluation process to ensure that the systems being used to preserve these data assets are trustworthy, reliable, and secure and thus provide for data longevity, integrity, and security. A system that is found to meet the reliability and suitability requirements is certified as a USGS Trusted Digital Repository.