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ScienceBase Communities

Learn more about communities in ScienceBase.

Table of Contents


What is a ScienceBase community?

A community is a designated project space in ScienceBase to support a project or research application. The space is displayed in ScienceBase as a folder, and can contain any number of child items, including individual records, folders, and links to ScienceBase items outside the community. A community (or specific folder within a community) can be private or visible to the public. Communities can store a collection of both public and non-public items to support in-progress research, management of shared resources, and the presentation of finalized data products. Editing permissions are limited to users associated with the community. 

Well-managed ScienceBase communities should define the intent of the collection and are expected to have one or more designated data managers. Data managers outline the processes and expectations for content organization and ensure that requirements for content within the community are met (e.g., consistent tagging, naming structure, etc.). USGS data publishing is expected to follow Bureau guidelines (more information below).

ScienceBase is a resource for USGS researchers and their collaborators. For more information about appropriate uses of ScienceBase, please see the ScienceBase user agreement.

View list of ScienceBase Communities

Screenshot of the CERC Community folder in ScienceBase
Image shows a screenshot of a science center community folder: Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC)


USGS Data Publication Guidelines

Data authorship (item creation, editing, file management) in ScienceBase is reserved for USGS employees and individuals or groups working in partnership with the USGS. All users are expected to follow the Fundamental Science Practices (FSP) requirements when publishing finalized USGS data products. For more information on the FSP policies, please see the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Survey Manual (SM) Directives 502.4: Review, Approval, and Release of Information Products.

To support FSP requirements and provide guidance to USGS data release authors, the ScienceBase data release team has developed a process for authors completing data releases in ScienceBase. For more information, please see the ScienceBase data release instructions.


Create a community

To request the creation of a ScienceBase community, please e-mail the following information to

  • Community name 
  • Community name acronym or short reference 
  • Description of the community and its mission 
  • Keywords, or tags, describing the community 
  • Users associated with the community (full name, e-mail address, affiliation). These users will have editing permissions to the community. 
  • Community manager(s) (full name, e-mail address, affiliation). Please specify at least one person or group email as the community manager. These users will serve as points of contact for the community.  
  • For non-USGS users working in partnership with USGS, at least one USGS employee should be listed as a community manager, who will also serve as a point of contact for the community.


Manage a community 

For information about how to create content, manage permissions, and add shortcuts in ScienceBase, please see the ScienceBase Items instructions page.

Community managers can edit information about their community by selecting the "Manage Item" drop-down menu (on the far right side of the page) and then selecting "Edit Item."

screenshot showing option to edit ScienceBase item through the edit form

Community managers can give read and write permissions to any user who has a ScienceBase account.


ScienceBase User Accounts

U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) employees can log in to ScienceBase with their BisonConnect credentials. Users outside the DOI can request an account if they are collaborating with a USGS project and have a USGS sponsor. USGS sponsors are expected to be current employees with valid USGS email addresses who will work with non-DOI users and ensure partners follow approved methods of item creation, content organization, and data management within ScienceBase

DOI employees:

  • Users can log in with their BisonConnect credentials (PIV cards and DOI-issued PIN). If a DOI employee has never used ScienceBase before, they will not yet have an account in the system. A user must log in to ScienceBase first before a community manager can grant them permission to a community.
  • Once a user has logged into ScienceBase, they should contact the community manager to receive access to the community space or permission-controlled data products.

Non-DOI users:

  • Users should sign up for a account and then request a ScienceBase account.
  • To request a new ScienceBase account, go to
    • Provide the requested information (email, first name, last name, and the email of the USGS employee serving as the sponsor). 
    • The sponsor will receive an email and be asked to confirm the account to complete the registration process. 
    • After the sponsor verifies the registration, the new user will receive an email from myUSGS with a username and password.
  • Once the user has access to ScienceBase, they should contact the community manager to receive access to the community space or permission-controlled data products.