Qualitative Study of Data Preservation Practices at State Geological Surveys (2009)


NOTE: This poster was previously presented at the Archival Education and Research Institute (AERI) in July 2009.

In 2007 the USGS started the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP). In the second phase of this program the NGGDPP awarded grants to 29 state geological surveys to develop long range plans for data preservation and create metadata for their holdings which were to be uploaded in to the newly created national catalog for geological data sets. The USGS identified a need for the preservation of geological data and encouraged states to develop plans to sustain their data into the future.  However, it is common for this task to be assigned to a professional geologist who has not been specifically trained in the methods of access and preservation.

This research will address the question of how these non-archivists developed long range preservation plans.  Interviews were conducted with 6 of the 29 collection managers for state surveys taking part in the NGGDPP granting program in 2008.  During these interviews they were asked questions about the problems they faced with their collections, what preservation means for their organization, the significance of their collections, what resources they used in making decisions on preservations and important issues they discovered about preservation.

This project is relevant to the development of new methods for preservation of materials in the field of geology. It is important to discover what types of resources these subjects reference and where they go for information as well as what their information needs are for this area. There is currently very little literature on the preservation methods of Geologists. By conducting this research it will help shed light on this area of work and learn more about what research needs to be done in this field.

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