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ScienceBase Instructions and Documentation

ScienceBase: a collaborative scientific database

ScienceBase Overview

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is committed to enhancing and expanding information sharing and sound data management practices by developing ScienceBase, a collaborative scientific data and information management platform used directly by science teams. ScienceBase provides access to aggregated information derived from many data and information domains, including feeds from existing data systems, metadata catalogs, and scientists contributing new and original content. ScienceBase architecture is designed to help science teams and data practitioners centralize their data and information resources to create a foundation needed for their work. ScienceBase, both original software and engineered components, is released as an open source project to promote involvement from the larger scientific programming community both inside and outside the USGS.

Key Elements

Data cataloging and collaborative data management platform 

  • Data uploading, documentation employing metadata standards, and sharing selectively or publicly 

  • Information discovery by enabling connections across sources using key elements such as common key words, spatial locations, people or organizational contacts, and projects 

  • Flexible and extensible data model includes descriptive core elements and extensible metadata elements allowing thorough description of different item types 

Central search and discovery application 

  • Tools for science and management teams to find and organize information resources important to their work and to provide additional attributes (keywords, spatial reference) to add more value to existing resources 

  • Access to information records harvested and imported from data providers’ systems and to native items uploaded to and hosted by ScienceBase 

Web services facilitating other applications 

  • Data and metadata accessed and managed via standards-based Web services to drive diverse applications and Web sites 

  • Harvesting of small and large data sources through Web catalog services to increase and diversify resources available to communities 

  • JSON-based native syntax via REST API 

Research community catalogs 

  • Discrete community spaces allowing participants to catalog, manage, and share information, publically or privately 

  • Existing cataloged resources, along with new items added and uploaded by community members, may populate evolving community data catalog 

  • Flexible authorization permissions allow security designation for individual access