NIF is dedicated to providing open access to data and tools for the community. For the web users, there is a web portal for searching neurosciences resources and information using simple yet very powerful concept based searching user interface. For the developers, we have published data access and tools using open standard based application programming interfaces that can be used by the developers to access and use programmatically.
NIF provides access to data stored in online neuroscience databases, web pages, carefully picked and humanly curated catalog of resources, ontologies and RDF data to the community.
We provide a range of web services for accessing data and executing important functionality REST (Representational State Transfer) based web service. REST service is basically a unique URL is representation of some object. This object can be used to add, modify or access data using HTTP GET, POST, PUT or DELETE message to this REST based unique URL. The format of input and output can in primitive data type or XML schema. More information about REST clients can be found here http://code.google.com/p/rest-client/.
We are constantly adding new resources and information accessible through NIF search. Currently we have published REST based access for the following resources:
Ontology: These services provide access to the NIF vocabularies with the capabilities to query for concepts and relationships. More information about these services is available at https://confluence.crbs.ucsd.edu/display/NIF/OntoQuestMain.
Database Index Query Services: These services allow access to the NIF Data Federation index where the users can search for the records in the neuroscience databases (indexed by NIF) that match the keyword or concept using a programmatic interface. For more information about these services, visit, https://confluence.crbs.ucsd.edu/display/NIF/NIF+Web+Services .
Javadoc Version: https://confluence.crbs.ucsd.edu/display/NIF/Java+Docs
NIF is also working on making RDF (Resource Description Framework) version of the data available to the user. RDF is a World Wide Web Consortium’s standard for encoding knowledge in to data. More information about RDF and currently available data in RDF format visit https://confluence.crbs.ucsd.edu/display/NIF/RDF+datasets+on+NIF.
The SPARQL endpoint is hosted at http://rdf-stage.neuinfo.org/sparql. It contains NIFSTD ontology data referenced as http://nifstd.com as the default graph URI. More information and example are available here .
NIF Registry: These services allow the users to access the metadata for the carefully selected and humanly curated neuroscience resources using programmatic interface. For more information visit NeuroLex SPARQL endpoint, http://neurolex.org/wiki/NeuroLex_SPARQL_endpoint .
DISCO is an information integration approach designed to facilitate increased interoperation among Internet resources. DISCO supports interoperation capabilities involving several types of information (resource descriptions, terminologies, data interoperation, news, etc.). Integration of each of these services is accomplished using service-specific DISCO descriptions provided by each resource and linked from a main "disco.xml" file of the resource. Inside this file there is a list of links to other files or scripts that contain specific information to update NIF resource information. More information about DISCO is available at http://neuinfo.org/nif_components/disco/interoperation.shtm.
The NIF has been using the Google Refine tool to create concept mappings of individual columns, but the concept mapping tool incorporates, view management, export to google refine, and back-end support services. To find out more please visit this page.