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About NIF

The Neuroscience Information Framework is a dynamic inventory of Web-based neuroscience resources: data, materials, and tools accessible via any computer connected to the Internet. An initiative of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, NIF advances neuroscience research by enabling discovery and access to public research data and tools worldwide through an open source, networked environment.

View the Introductory Video about NIF. NIF Video

 

NIF OFFERS:

  1. A search portal for researchers, students, or anyone looking for neuroscience information, tools, data or materials.
  2. Access to content normally not indexed by search engines, i.e, the "hidden web"
  3. Tools for resource providers to make resources more discoverable, e.g., ontologies, data federation tools vocabulary services
  4. Tools for promoting interoperability among databases
  5. Standards for data annotation
  6. The NIFSTD ontology covering the major domains of neuroscience, e.g., brain anatomy, cells, organisms, diseases, techniques
  7. Services for accessing the NIF vocabulary and NIF tools
  8. Best practices for creating discoverable and interoperable resources
  9. Data annotation services: NIF experts can enhance your resource through semantic tagging (contact us)
  10. NIF cards: Easy links to neuroscience information from any web browser (See examples)
  11. Ontology services: NIF knowledge engineers can help create or extend ontologies for neuroscience

The NIF project is designed to serve the biomedical research community. The more participation from the community, the better the NIF. We welcome all feedback and suggestions and are actively looking for resource providers to make their resources accessible through the NIF. We offer a variety of methods for making resources searchable through the NIF. For more information or to recommend a resource, follow the link to Register Your Resource, or send us an e-mail at curation@neuinfo.org.

Collaborating institutions working on the current version of NIF include University of California, San Diego, California Institute of Technology, George Mason University, Yale University Medical College, and Washington University.

The History of NIF

Established in 2004, the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research brings the 16 NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices that support neuroscience research into a collaborative framework to coordinate their ongoing efforts and to plan new cross-cutting initiatives. Working together, representatives from the partner Institutes, Centers, and Offices identify pervasive challenges in neuroscience and any technological barriers to solving them.

Early in their deliberations Blueprint representatives recognized that a framework for identifying, locating, relating, accessing, integrating, and analyzing information from the neuroscience research enterprise is critical to enhancing cooperative activities in the neurosciences. A Broad Agency Announcement was issued, and in 2005, the Blueprint began support for a new initiative known as the "Neuroscience Information Framework" (NIF).

The first phase of NIF was led by Dr. Dan Gardner at Weill Cornell Medical College. During this phase, the NIF produced a white paper outlining the current state of neuroscience resources. The project also produced a registry of neuroscience-relevant resources, an extensive vocabulary for describing resources and their content, and an initial version of a concept-based query system that could be used to query across diverse types of resources. The current phase of NIF is led by Dr. Maryann Martone at UCSD. This phase is devoted to hardening and maintaining the NIF while continuing to expand its resources and increase its usability and functionality.

NIF Statistics



NIF Version: 6.1

Ontology Version: 2.9

Level 2.5/3.0 Resources: 239

Registry Entries: 11,651

Total Records: 382,761,772





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