Neuroscience Information Network (NIF)

Main Area of Focus

The Neuroscience Information Network (NIF) is an online portal for finding and sharing neuroscience data, tools and literature. With more than 4,500 curated resources and direct access to more than 100 databases, it is the largest source of neuroscience information on the web. NIF also offers a set of tools and best practices for sharing research data and resources.

Dr. Maryann Martone and a team at the University of California, San Diego are leading the current phase of NIF development. For more information on data sharing through NIF, visit NIF or contact Dr. Martone.

Background

NIF is an online portal, data sharing platform External link and customized search engine for neuroscience-related data, tools, literature and web sites.  With more than 4,500 curated resources and direct access to more than 100 "federated" databases, it is the largest source of neuroscience information on the web.

The NIF data federation enables users to search multiple databases simultaneously and get immediate access to the results.  With its focus on neuroscience-relevant content, NIF can efficiently search web sites that are hidden from more traditional search engines.  NIF can perform simple keyword searches and more complex concept-based searches.  For example, a search for "ventral lateral geniculate nucleus" will find related terms and synonyms such as "ventral nucleus of lateral geniculate body."  The NIF interface allows users to select the synonyms of most interest or turn this feature off.


Top 25 search terms in NIF from Jan. 15, 2012 to Feb. 15, 2012.
NIF's concept-based searching is made possible by Neurolex, a wiki system that allows the neuroscience community to define commonly used neuroscience terms and develop NIF's vocabulary.  Neuroscientists using terminologies not currently represented in Neurolex are encouraged to contribute External link.

The broader research community is encouraged to participate in NIF and follow NIF news via Twitter, webinars External link, the NIF mailing list External link, and the NIF blog External link.  Resource providers are encouraged to register with NIF External link, display the “Registered with NIF logo,” External link and read the NIF blog for best practices to facilitate resource discovery and sharing.

Contacts

Jonathan D. Pollock, Ph.D.
Chief, Genetics and Molecular Neurobiology Research Branch
Division of Basic Neuroscience and Behavioral Research
National Institute on Drug Abuse
6001 Executive Blvd. Rm 4103
Bethesda, MD 20892
(For Fedex Delivery the address is Rockville, MD 20852)
301-435-1309
301-594-6043

Related Resources

NIF named a "Best of the Web" Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News