Fact Sheet 2012–3078
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is a steward for over 130 years of rich, diverse natural science and information resources. We document one-of-a-kind observations of natural phenomena and cultural impacts on our changing world. In order for society to deal with national and global trends, the USGS must enable access and use of legacy, inaccessible information by including these data in our digital archives and databases.
The USGS has conducted scientific assessments on the quality and quantity of the Nation’s water resources, provided access to geospatial and natural resource data, and conducted multi-purpose natural science studies. All of these have generated records that need to be accessible and integrated in order to be examined for new information and interpretations that were never intended by the original collector.
The Federal Records Act of 1950 mandates that the USGS preserve Federal records containing evidence of the agency’s organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions. At the USGS, the goal of Open Government is to improve and increase access to scientific information. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the USGS to preserve, make available, and provide accountability for the data that it creates from our scientific projects.
First posted June 25, 2012
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Wippich, Carol, 2012, Preserving science for the ages—USGS data rescue: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012–3078, 4 p., available at https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2012/3078.