Confluence Retirement

In an effort to consolidate USGS hosted Wikis, myUSGS’ Confluence service is scheduled for retirement on January 27th, 2023. The official USGS Wiki and collaboration space is now SharePoint. Please migrate existing spaces and content to the SharePoint platform and remove it from Confluence at your earliest convenience. If you need any additional information or have any concerns about this change, please contact Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
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White House Guidance

Below is an open government memo and social media memo that while not specifically focused on citizen science, have guidance that can pertain to citizen science projects. Specifically, the social media memo has a section that states the PRA is not triggered by the collection of information as part of citizen collaboration.

OMB Approval Process

  • Contact, Dave Govoni, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Enterprise Information (, 703-648-5565)
  • General guidance here - this process (OMB approval) can be lengthy, so get started sooner than later.  The approval process currently includes two public comment periods which extends the time it takes.  The approval is on the actual data collection forms and what information is collected, regardless of web application, mobile application, etc.  All collection forms must be approved.
  • Prepare screen shots of all web forms, data collection forms from all web pages, mobile applications, expected burden/cost to participate, other statements. 
  • Organize and share additional information via Federal Register for 60 day open period.

PIA, PII, and FOIA (Privacy Impact Assessment, Personally Identifiable Information, Freedom of Information Act Requests)

  • Contact, David Newman, FOIA Officer, Office of Enterprise Information (, 703-648-6853)

  • Dave and Shari also are familiar with the PIA assessment process, and can give guidance designing systems to protect PII, so a new system of records (SORN) is not needed

  • Pertaining to FOIA, all USGS records are essentially subject to a FOIA request, the general take home on this is that all FOIA requests must be responded to within 20 days, contact David and Shari in case one of these ever arrives, if the 20 day response is not met, litigation can be costly and pull $ from science.


Shari Baloch has produced a draft handout with information useful for scientists who are considering information collection activities.  IC Fact Sheet.docx

  • Interested in conducting a telephone survey?
  • Would you like to solicit information from your industry?
  • Want to create survey or a form for public use?
  • If you answered yes, to any of the above questions, read on!!

Volunteer Handbook

  • Contact Cheryl Smith, Volunteer Program Coordinator,, 703-648-6105
  • Volunteer Handbook:
  • Items in the handbook of note:  Volunteers utilized over 180 days require a volunteer agreement to be established and signed, if access to buildings or USGS computer systems, a background check and fingerprinting (disagreement here in that it wouldn't be possible at the scale most projects would like to deploy at), ethics and scientific integrity concerns, liability and responsibility for volunteer safety.   (depending on the project, may require waivers to be developed and signed, and so on)

  • Of note - there is a Federal Interagency Team on Volunteerism, FITV, maintains the website, promote national leadership and coordination, offer support on education and training on how to develop and maintain volunteer positions - email Cheryl to get access to the website to post opportunities and other information. 

Mobile Applications Development Process

  • Lead on the project is - Lorna Schmid, USGS Reston,, 703-648-6834.  Alternate contact: Tim Kern, Fort Collins Science Center, kernt@usgs.gov970-226-9366
  • Overview of the Mobile Application Development framework - 4 phases, ideation, development, review/approval, and publication & monitoring.  Goal to develop a one-stop framework for mobile applications development, with all pertinent information for developing, testing, approving, policy to follow, guidelines and/or restrictions from policy, how to release information/applications   (presented at workshop). 
  • As of January 2013, DOI has signed both Apple and Android/Google Terms of Service (TOS) agreements.
  • Lorna Schmid & Tim Kern are creating a Mobile Application Ownership Team to facilitate handing out developer licenses.  Only a few people will be able to push apps through to publishing.  Visit the Mobile Community Sharepoint Site for more details on the Framework and the processes within.
  • Presentation about the Mobile Application Development Framework at the Citizen Science Workshop on 09/11/2012 recording and PowerPoint slides available


Contact: Adam Hughes, Senior Advisor, Federal CIO Council - 202.501.1144 (direct), 202.578.7056 (cell),  - Twitter: @ciodotgov


  File Modified
Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet MobilePolicyMatrix10182011.xlsx Sep 19, 2012 by Benson, Abigail L.
PDF File Open Government Memo.pdf Sep 19, 2012 by Benson, Abigail L.
PDF File SocialMediaGuidance_04072010.pdf Sep 19, 2012 by Benson, Abigail L.
Microsoft Word Document IC Fact Sheet.docx Shari Baloch's Document from 11/20/2012 Nov 26, 2012 by Hines, Megan K.

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