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USGS Science Data Policies: An Evolving Culture of Data Management
  • Mike Frame,
  • Viv Hutchison,
  • Ben Wheeler
Mike Frame
USGS Headquarters

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Viv Hutchison
USGS Core Science Analytics, Synthesis, and Libraries
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Ben Wheeler
USGS Core Science Analytics, Synthesis, and Libraries
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In 2013, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memorandum directing Federal agencies with over $100 million in annual research and development expenditures to develop a plan to support increased access to federally funded research results. In response, the US Geological Survey developed a Public Access Plan and published four new data management policies. The policies focus on review and approval of scientific data supporting scholarly conclusions, requirements for metadata, preservation, and data management planning. The new policies, in conjunction with the Public Access Plan, represent a shift in culture in how the USGS manages and provides access to its science data. The USGS recognizes that successful implementation of these new policies requires multiple pillars of support, from USGS leadership and staff buy-in, to effective tools. Active community engagement in the Bureau is stimulated through the Community for Data Integration (CDI), an open forum for community discussion and engagement, and an important component creating buy-in and contributing to the success of the new policies. Also critical are a suite of tools available to scientists to ensure their ability to implement the policies. Finally, support from leadership that manifests in the Fundamental Science Practices Advisory Council (FSPAC), a committee of representatives from across the Bureau who preside over policies and guidance is a critical component. While far from complete, the USGS has shifted its approach to science data management by engaging the community, offering tools to support policy, and providing leadership support for the quality and scientific integrity of USGS science data.