datapreservation.usgs.gov
National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program

Cataloging, Metadata, Standards, and Data Delivery

Decisions about inventory methods for samples and about criteria for metadata have the potential to profoundly affect the value that is added to and retained by physical earth science samples and the data derived from them.  The term “metadata” has various uses and meanings, even within restricted disciplines.  With respect to physical samples and the data derived from them, the term commonly means information that bears of the physical nature, condition, location and circumstances of acquisition of a physical sample; and on the type and reliability of the analytical data or other measured information that drive from a sample or from suites of samples.  

Timing of current efforts to build up a common national database, such as the USGS National Digital Catalog is fortuitous for some organizations, as several have been making their own efforts to recover, organize, update, and add metadata to their own data holdings, and to modernize older databases not previously suitable for online searches.   

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 nggdpp@usgs.gov.  We will work with you to highlight your best practices and share them online.