National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program

Preservation and Management of Digital Records

Management and curation of information resources, including paper documents, digitally transcribed or scanned images, as well as sample and photograph collections represent a substantial component of the holdings and value of repositories.  

Data Management and Indices

Universally Unique Identifiers

The System for Earth Sample Registration (SESAR) is a centralized system that provides scientists and collection managers with universally unique identifiers (UUIDs) for research samples. These identifiers provided by SESAR, known as International Geo Sample Numbers (IGSNs), allow samples to be tracked on a global scale and are designed to maintain a permanent link between the sample and any resultant data that appears in publications and digital data sets.

SESAR is a project of the EarthChem Program and part of the Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a national data facility funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF).  IGSNs are already being used by the USGS, and by some state geological surveys, as well as country-wide integration by Germany, Australia, and the European Geosciences Union.

How can you contribute?

If you have any success stories, suggestions, or contributions you would like to share, please send an email to the USGS National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program at  We will work with you to highlight your best practices and share them online.