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Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research at the U.S. Geological Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) plan, entitled “Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research at the U.S. Geological Survey: Scholarly Publications and Digital Data” outlines a framework for activities to increase public access to scholarly publications and digital scientific data resulting from research funded by the USGS. The plan is consistent with the objectives set forth in the February 22, 2013, Office of Science and Technology Policy memorandum, Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research. The plan also addresses requirements set forth in the May, 9, 2013, Executive Order 13642 Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information, the May 9, 2013 Office of Management and Budget, memorandum Open Data Policy—Managing Data as an Asset, and considers long-standing USGS requirements and practices related to data sharing and communication of research results.

Requirements in the plan apply specifically to journal articles and to USGS series publications (collectively referred to as scholarly publications in the USGS Public Access Plan and hereafter) and scientific data that are collected under USGS funded research.

The plan is available at: USGS Public Access Plan. The plan will be updated as necessary and significant changes made will be included on a revision history page included in the plan document.

In addition, a 24-minute presentation with audio that provides an educational overview of the plan is also available.

Key Elements of the Plan

As outlined in sections 3.0 and 7.0 of the plan, beginning October 1, 2016, the USGS will require journal article manuscripts of record (also referred to as final accepted manuscripts) which are considered as outside publications (SM 1100.4) and USGS series publication information products (SM 1100.3) be handled as follows:

  • For journal publications all accepted manuscripts must be deposited in the internal USGS Information Product Data System (IPDS) repository which serves as a dark archive.
  • Journal articles are released from the outside publisher or the USGS IPDS dark archive and made available free-of-charge from the USGS Publications Warehouse no later than 12 months after publication.
  • USGS authors are not obligated to pay journals to provide free public access to journal articles unless the author requires free public access be provided by the outside publisher before the 12 month period.
  • The USGS will provide a mechanism, via the USGS Publications Warehouse, for accepting petitions for changes to the 12-month period and a decision for a reduced embargo period for a specific journal publication will be made based on need.
  • Bureau approved USGS series publication are released via the USGS Publications Warehouse immediately upon publication and require the following. This includes a machine-readable XML version of the series publication will be posted as well as a PDF or HTML version;
  • A minimum set of machine-readable metadata elements in a metadata record to be made available free-of-charge upon initial publication for purposes of cataloging and indexing to facilitate discovery.
  • Maintenance of the scholarly publication in a manner that ensures long-term preservation.
  • A persistent identifier that provides link a to the full text of the scholarly publication as well as metadata elements, and this link will be reported in annual and final reports during the period of the award for researchers extramural to the USGS.

Additionally as outlined in sections 3.0 and 7.0 of the plan, beginning Oct. 1, 2016, the USGS will require digital research data collected with USGS funds meet the following requirements:

  • Scientific data that are used to support the conclusions in scholarly publications will be made available free-of-charge for public access simultaneously with or prior to the release of an associated scholarly publication, unless the agency determines that a demonstrated circumstance restricts the data from being made publicly available, for example in cases where access must be restricted because of security, privacy, confidentiality, or other constraints.
  • Final project scientific data approved for release are made available free-of-charge at the end of the project, unless the agency determines that a demonstrated circumstance restricts the data from being made publicly available, for example in cases where access must be restricted because of security, privacy, confidentiality, or other constraints.
  • Scientific data follow the requirements of the data management plan (DMP) which is part of the approved project plan. The DMP details information such as acquisition method, quality assurance, security, disposition, and if applicable, circumstance restricting public access (IM OSQI 2015-01).
  • Metadata (using USGS endorsed metadata standards) must accompany the scientific data and also this metadata record must be submitted to the USGS Science Data Catalog.
  • Scientific data approved for release are assigned a USGS digital object identifier.
  • Scientific data are approved for release in accordance with USGS Fundamental Science Practices requirements.
  • Scientific data are preserved as the authoritative version on or through an approved USGS server, application, or repository.

Progress Reports

Progress reports on how the USGS is advancing in implementing the plan:

Additional Information

Questions about the USGS Public Access Plan or requests for additional information may be directed to kkirk@usgs.gov.


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Page Last Modified: Thursday, August 04, 2016