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NEW REPORT: Unique Role of Federal Scientific Collections.

An examination of how Federal scientific collections go beyond the goals and impacts of collections in non-Federal institutions, with 21 illustrative case study examples.

Welcome to the IWGSC

The IWGSC promotes responsible stewardship of the object-based scientific collections that serve the missions of the U.S. Federal Government. A major goal of the group is to encourage federal agencies to focus attention on integrated support and planning for the care and use of federally held scientific collections. Additionally, IWGSC is a leader within the broader scientific collections community, interfacing with many independent and university-held collections and stewards. 

This clearinghouse provides information about the history of the IWGSC, the participating U.S. Federal Departments and Agencies, the policies that govern the stewardship of these resources, and pertinent reports and literature to IWGSC and the scientific collections community. 

IWGSC works with the Global Biological Information Facility (GBIF) to provide global access to information about US Federal scientific collections via the Global Registry of Scientific Collections.

Explore Our Reports

The IWGSC authors reports on the role of federal scientific collections in the scientific community, the US and global economies, and as research and development infrastructure. Our reports include:

  • The Unique Role of Federal Scientific Collections Cover

    IWGSC Blue Report, 2023

    The "Unique Role of Federal Scientific Collections” report provides an updated assessment of the importance of scientific collections within the U.S. economy’s research and development infrastructure.

  • IWGSC Economic Study Report, 2020

    The “Economic Analyses of Federal Scientific Collections” report develops standard methods for estimating the costs and benefits associated with U.S. Federal scientific collections.

  • IWGSC Green Report, 2009

    The "Scientific Collections: Mission-Critical Infrastructure for Federal Science Agencies" report describes why collections are vital to scientific research in the United States and what the IWGSC is doing to preserve them.