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Science Data Catalog

July 21, 2022

Learn more about the Science Data Management Branch or explore our other data management tools.

What does this tool do? 

The Science Data Catalog (SDC) is the official public and searchable index that aggregates descriptions of all public research data that have been published by the USGS. Federal research institutions are required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to provide a publicly searchable index of their published research data; the USGS and OMB formalized the designation of the SDC to meet this requirement in January 2016 with the publication of Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research at the U.S. Geological Survey: Scholarly Publications and Digital Data. Additionally, the SDC serves as official source of data descriptions that are made available to various federal data inventories, including the Department of the Interior's catalog, and to and the GeoPlatform. Finally, the SDC is a one-stop shop for the American public and the world to find, access, and understand the data collected and analyzed by the USGS to enhance and expand our collective understanding of natural resource conditions, issues, and problems.


Who is the audience for this tool? 

The primary audience for the SDC is anyone who has a research or regulatory interest in evaluating and potentially using USGS data for their own work; for USGS and other federal stakeholders who ensure that USGS is complying with federal open data requirements; and for the American public to understand the scope and extent of USGS research on the landscape.


How do I get started? 

From the SDC Homepage, users can quickly view and access topics recently searched by other users, access popular datasets, and get quick links into major USGS data systems that provide comprehensive access to large collections of long-term and near real-time data. From the Search tab, users who have a particular topic in mind for search can submit text queries directly to the catalog, or they can use filters to immediately narrow results using specific vocabularies, or limit their searches to specific fields in the metadata description of a dataset. For users who want to explore more broadly the many scientific disciplines and issues studied by the USGS, the Browse tab allows users to click on a variety of science topics and view the available associated datasets for further consideration.