Neuroinformatics special issue spotlights the Neuroscience Information Framework

November 14, 2008

A landmark special issue of Springer's Humana Press journal Neuroinformatics describes the new Neuroscience Information Framework (NIF), a dynamic inventory of web-based neurosciences data, resources and tools that scientists and students can access via any computer connected to the Internet. An initiative of the National Institutes of Health Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, the NIF will advance neuroscience research by enabling discovery and access to public research data and tools worldwide through an open source, networked environment. The entire issue of Neuroinformatics is available free on Springer's online information platform at http://www.springerlink.com/content/120559.

Dr. Daniel Gardner, co-editor of the special issue, said, "We on the Neuroscience Information Framework project team selected Neuroinformatics as the perfect vehicle for our comprehensive set of peer-reviewed papers detailing the goals, design and operation of the NIF. We are particularly grateful that Humana Press is making the entire issue available in open access format to the neuroscience and neuroinformatics community."

The Neuroscience Information Framework is designed to serve a broad set of neuroscience investigators working on many problems, using many techniques and preparations. It enables users to discover global neuroscience web resources that cut across traditional boundaries - from experimental, clinical and translational neuroscience databases to knowledge bases, atlases, and genetic and genomic resources. Unlike general search engines, the NIF provides deeper access to a more focused set of resources that are relevant to neuroscience, search strategies tailored to neuroscience, and access to content that is traditionally "hidden" from web search engines. The NIF may be viewed at http://nif.nih.gov and other sites as they appear online. All components of the NIF are available Open Source to encourage multiple community, institution and publisher development of NIF-compatible portals and web resources.

This special issue of Neuroinformatics, edited by Gardner and Dr. Maryann Martone, presents the culmination of NIF development to the neuroscience and neuroinformatics community. An introductory White Paper summarizes the project and its development in the context of the present and future of neuroinformatics, as well as the challenges of serving the entire neuroscience community. Three articles define the enabling terminology thrusts of the project, two describe design methodology and components, and two detail specific components: a PubMed LinkOut Broker and a linked neuromorphology database.
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Neuroinformatics is one of the leading journals in this emerging field, leveraging computer and informational techniques in the service of neuroscience. Humana Press, a publisher of medical and scientific books and journals, is part of Springer Science+Business Media, one of the world's leading suppliers of scientific and specialist literature.

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