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USGS Groundwater Policy > Groundwater Model Archiving > Prepare for Review > Metadata

Documenting, Archiving, and Public Release of Numerical Groundwater Flow and Transport Models: Metadata

Modeler Workflow - Prepare Metadata

Modeler Workflow - Prepare Metadata

This page describes the creation of formal metadata in preparation for the model archive review.

Contact Martha Watt (, 609-771-3908) to create a XML file that complies with OGW Policy. At this time, Martha Watt is providing assistance on behalf of OGW to assist modelers in developing a correct and appropriate XML metadata file. The required process that Martha and the modeler will be working through is detailed below.

  1. Compile the information you will need for the metadata file, including but not limited to:
  2. abstract for model(s)
  3. model boundaries
  4. author information
  5. citation for any associated publication documenting the model
  6. coordinates for model four corners
  7. contact information for point of contact
  8. standard USGS disclaimer for approved data released to the public
  9. standard USGS disclaimer for nonendorsement of commercial products and services, if third-party products such as modeling software are mentioned
  10. small "browse graphic" image file that can be used by catalogs: for example, image of model boundary overlaid on state or regional map. For the model archive data release this browse graphic will be named -Thumbnail.jpg for example sir2016-5022Thumbnail.jpg.
  11. Create the XML file.
    1. USGS provides the Online Metadata Editor (OME), which guides the user through step-by-step completion creation of a metadata file. The basic metadata file generated by the ArcGIS metadata creation tool (or any other xml metadata generator) can be uploaded to OME to review and edit the required fields in a user-friendly interface.
    2. A template of a NSDI Water Node approved .xml is available as well as an annotated Word template to assist modelers in completing the metadata. Many of the metadata fields have required entries to make the data releases as consistent as possible. Use the annotated template as a guide.
    3. OGW Requirement: Theme Keywords: Standardization and consistent use of selected keywords will allow USGS to make maximum use of online groundwater model archives by making them more easily discoverable in the USGS Science Data Catalog or Therefore groundwater model archive metadata files are expected to include the following case-sensitive theme keywords:
      1. usgsgroundwatermodel
      2. Modeling program name in common USGS format
        1. Examples include but are not limited to: MODFLOW-2000, MODFLOW-2005, MODFLOW-NWT, SUTRA, MODFLOW-6
        2. If there is a common modeling application you would like OGW to provide a standardized keyword for, please contact
  12. Reserve a digital object identifier (DOI) for your groundwater model archive. The modeler is responsible for getting their model archive DOI. The DOI must be included in your model archive metadata file.
    1. USGS has guidelines on how to obtain data DOIs. The USGS DOI Creation Tool provides an easy, user-friendly way to do this.
    2. You can enter placeholder information at this time; you will update the record with final details after BAO approval.
    3. Check with your Center for local guidelines on DOIs, such as who should be listed as contacts in the DOI records to ensure long-term access as staff changes.
    4. At this point you are reserving the DOI but not registering it; the link will not work. Only once your model archive has BAO approval and is released online will you register the DOI; at that time you will update the DOI record via the USGS DOI creation tool with the final URL.
  13. Create the suggested citation for your data release, following USGS general data citation formats:
    1. General format: Author, F.N., YYYY, Groundwater Model Archive Title: U.S. Geological Survey data release,
    2. The citation is specific to your groundwater model archive, and therefore the authors may differ from the authors of the associated reports.
    3. The groundwater model archive is always a "U.S. Geological Survey data release." ("Data Series" and "Database" are different USGS information products. The terms are not interchangeable.)
    4. Example: Hughes, J.D., Sifuentes, D.F., and White, J.T., 2016, SEAWAT model used to evaluate the potential effects of alterations to the hydrologic system on the distribution of salinity in the Biscayne aquifer in Broward County, Florida: U.S. Geological Survey data release,
  14. When your file is completed, validate the final metadata file using the USGS metadata parser. (Note: this validates the format and structure according to FGDC standards; it does not check the content for OGW-specific requirements.)

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Page Last Modified: Monday, 10-Apr-2017 14:32:33 EDT