The NIST Materials Resource Registry will provide new means for the materials community to discover and share materials related data and other resources. The registry brings together all the published resources into a central searchable index. Providers of materials data and other resources can publish their resources via the NIST Materials Resource Registry via a moderated process. Upon approval, the resource becomes indexed and searchable. Each resource can be hosted at its own respective location but found via the registry.
We envision that there would be a resource ontology that would be used to encode relevant domain knowledge to facilitate discovery of these resources. Resource publishers would encode their resource description using the terms of the ontology and also provide details on how to access the resource. After a publisher has provided the necessary metadata and made the registration request, the registry upon approval would index the resource and make it searchable.
The users would have a web-based interface to the NIST Material Resources Registry which would allow for semantic queries to browse and search for published resources. They would use terms from the ontology to obtain a resource description to one or more resources. The response from the registry to the user would include a location (or handle) and a communication protocol including parameters such as remote procedure calls (RPC) or SOAP. Once a handle is provided to the user, the user would use it uniquely access the resource of interest and adhere to its protocol for bi-directional communication.
The NIST Material Resources Registry will be designed with scalability and concurrency in mind and with support for any type of digital materials data or resource.