Depositing records and digital data

Collection of records

At the British Geological Survey we rely on the commitment of other organisations to supply a significant amount of our geoscientific data. As an organisation that contributes to the wider community by helping to improve the understanding of the geology and the environment, we hope that you will see the benefit of depositing geoscientific data.

The BGS collections of borehole records, borehole materials and site investigation reports are maintained by the NGDC to underpin BGS core activities. They also provide a valuable service to industry.

The Survey has statutory rights of access to records, core and various samples from boreholes drilled to depths greater than 30m for mineral exploration and 15m for water supply assessment. Data from investigations of shallower depth are also voluntarily deposited. For further information or to download the deposit forms go to Legal framework.

The BGS holds a considerable quantity of groundwater data, including systematic national hydrogeological mapping, water well records, time series of groundwater levels, groundwater quality analyses and many research datasets.

The BGS welcomes your donations from anywhere in Great Britain. The NGDC can receive information in various formats, including analogue, digital and material collections. If digital files are available these are preferred, and in particular AGS format data. Most of the collections are part of the public record and are made available through a not-for-profit cost enquiry service.

Contact the Data Collection Officer, or download a Guide to the deposit of geoscientific data 800 KB pdf.

Depositing data with NGDC Deposit data with NGDC/NGR

Guidelines for depositing data with NGDC/NGR.


What happens to your data if it is held on open file?

All the information received will be registered and sited using 1:10 000 scale topographical maps and then indexed within ORACLE database tables. To facilitate access to data BGS may scan paper records and hold the images within an information retrieval system. The index information and the records themselves are then available to BGS staff to aid geological interpretation as part of the national geological mapping programme.

What happens to your data if it is held as commercial- in-confidence?

If the donor requests that the information is to be held as commercial-in-confidence, the Survey acknowledges that the copyright of these reports is vested with the clients that commissioned the work, and that their permission is required before the reports can be placed on open file. Information will be stored physically separate from open file data and where held digitally will be password protected on a secure server. Only the existence of the data and the geographic location will available externally via the BGS Enquiry Service and the BGS websites' GeoIndex. Any requests for release of data will be referred to the donor.

Release of confidential data

The NGRC follows a strict quality procedure before releasing confidential data. Please ensure that you fill in a confidentiality request form when depositing your data so that this can be held on file for future administration purposes.

The NGRC is a place of deposit for public records. As a National Archive it is in everyone's interest to make as much information available as possible. The normal period of commercial-in-confidence cover is four years. If you have specific requirements beyond this period these can be arranged with the Data Collection Officer. All records held are treated as Public Records and will therefore be subject to release after the restricted period, even if initially held as commercial-in-confidence.

Release of confidential information: site investigation and drilling information frequently asked questions 20 KB pdf.


Contact Sue Roper (Data Collection Officer)