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Ag Data Commons User Guide

What is Ag Data Commons

The Ag Data Commons is a research data catalog and repository for public access to data produced during research funded or co-funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.

In accordance with the USDA Public Access DR, all USDA-funded researchers must ensure that a catalog record indicating the point of public access to their data is created in the Ag Data Commons. Supplementary repository service is optional and is open to data without a community- or subject-specific home.

Through the Ag Data Commons, the USDA National Agricultural Library (NAL) provides services to make USDA-funded research data systems and data products Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR).  Each submitted dataset goes through a review by Ag Data Commons data curators -- NAL metadata librarians who ensure completeness and accuracy of the submission before approving it for publication.  

Eligibility for submissions to the Ag Data Commons

If you are thinking about sharing your research output through the Ag Data Commons, please make sure that your submission meets the following conditions:

1. USDA-funding. A submission must satisfy at least one of the two USDA-funding criteria:

   a. One of the co-authors of the data product is affiliated with USDA, or

   b. It was produced as a result of a research project funded or co-funded by USDA, for example through NIFA grant or through an agency-approved research project.

2. Content type. The item(s) considered for submission must fall into one of the following types:

   a. Data (e.g. tabular data, genomic sequences, multimedia materials)

   b. Data product (e.g., database)*

   c. Non-executable software created to help users process or model data*.

3. Level of access - public. Your submission must contain only data and/or data products intended for public access. The Ag Data Commons does not accept datasets with Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

*See Ag Data Commons Collection Policy for details about these content types.  

Account creation

After verifying that your submission is eligible to deposit in the Ag Data Commons, you can create an account. Note that a user account is only required to submit data resources to the Ag Data Commons. Those wishing to view or download data do not require accounts.

To create an account, select “Log In” at the upper right corner of the Ag Data Commons home page. You will be prompted to select the user type for your account. Options include:

  • Customer: Use this option for non-federal users (e.g., university partners, grant recipients, etc.). You can use or eAuth to log into your account.
  • USDA Employee/Contractor: Use this option if you work directly for the USDA. You can use your PIV card, USDA MobileLinc, or USDA Work Account through Microsoft to log into your account.
  • Other Federal Employee/Contractor: Use this option if you work for a federal department outside the USDA. You can use your PIC/CAC PIN or to log into your account.

Your account will be automatically created the first time you log in.

New users will start with zero storage capacity and need to request storage space from the curation team to upload dataset files. The Data Submission Manual provides instructions on this process.  A curator will review your request and may follow up with you for additional information before granting the request.

More on Ag Data Commons

Collection Policies

Ag Data Commons Portal

Usage Statistics

Publications Citing Ag Data Commons

Citations Dashboard

Page Content Curated By