The Evolution, Approval and Implementation of the U.S. Geological Survey Science Data Lifecycle Model

Authors : John L. Faundeen, Vivian B. Hutchison

This paper details how the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Community for Data Integration (CDI) Data Management Working Group developed a Science Data Lifecycle Model, and the role the Model plays in shaping agency-wide policies and data management applications.

Starting with an extensive literature review of existing data lifecycle models, representatives from various backgrounds in USGS attended a two-day meeting where the basic elements for the Science Data Lifecycle Model were determined.

Refinements and reviews spanned two years, leading to finalization of the model and documentation in a formal agency publication1.

The Model serves as a critical framework for data management policy, instructional resources, and tools. The Model helps the USGS address both the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)2 for increased public access to federally funded research, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)3 2013 Open Data directives, as the foundation for a series of agency policies related to data management planning, metadata development, data release procedures, and the long-term preservation of data.

Additionally, the agency website devoted to data management instruction and best practices ( is designed around the Model’s structure and concepts. This paper also illustrates how the Model is being used to develop tools for supporting USGS research and data management processes.