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As one of the largest and oldest science organizations in the world, USGS has produced more than a century of earth science data, much of which is currently unavailable to the greater scientific community due to inaccessible or obsolescent media, formats, and technology. Tapping this vast wealth of “dark data” requires 1) a complete inventory of legacy data and 2) methods and tools to effectively evaluate, prioritize, and preserve the data with the greatest potential impact to society. Recognizing these truths and the potential value of legacy data, USGS has been investigating legacy data management and preservation since 2006, including the 2016 “DaR” project, which developed legacy data inventory and evaluation...
The scientific legacy of the USGS is the data and the scientific knowledge derived from it gathered over 130 years of research. However, it is widely assumed, and in some cases known, that high quality data, particularly legacy data critical for large time-scale analyses such as climate change and habitat change, is hidden away in case files, file cabinets, and hard drives housed in USGS science centers and field stations (both hereafter “science centers”). Many USGS science centers, such as the Fort Collins Science Center, have long, established research histories, are known repositories of data sets, and conduct periodic “file room cleanout” days that establish and enforce some minimal data lifecycle management...

    map background search result map search result map USGS Data at Risk: Expanding Legacy Data Inventory and Preservation Strategies