Welcome to The Registry!

This is the home page for the Open Metadata Registry (formerly the NSDL Registry).

The Metadata Registry provides services to developers and consumers of controlled vocabularies and is one of the first production deployments of the RDF-based Semantic Web Community's Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS)

How to begin

Step-by-step illustrated instructions...

Play in the Metadata Registry Sandbox

If you just want to experiment and play around a bit, go on over to the Metadata Registry Sandbox. The code is exactly the same, but it's using a non-production database. (Please be careful not to kick any sand out of the box) NOTE: The sandbox has its own domain now. If you had bookmarked the beta site thinking that it was the sandbox (and we did say that), it will shortly be a real beta site again complete with broken code, wacky ideas, and disappearing data. Please change your sandbox bookmarks to point to the Metadata Registry Sandbox. Any of the sandcastles that you had built in the beta, back when you thought it was the sandbox, are still there.

Registry News

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Server move in progress

Posted by: Jon Phipps at 21:02 on Friday, August 15, 2014 GMT
…from Rackspace to Digital Ocean and from one large-ish server to several smaller ones, from a relatively prehistoric version of RedHat to the latest Ubuntu 14LTS, from Zend Server+Apache to nginx (openresty actually), and from PHP5.2 to PHP5.5. It really wasn’t as painful as it sounds like it should have been. As part of the move, […]

Server issues

Posted by: Jon Phipps at 17:52 on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 GMT
Normally the Registry just hums along quietly and doesn’t demand too much attention. But the last system update we performed seems to have altered our memory usage pretty dramatically and we’re quite suddenly having out-of-memory issues and some heavy swapping. We’ve expanded the server capacity twice already as a stopgap while we investigate, but before […]

Still here, folks

Posted by: Jon at 20:36 on Saturday, February 16, 2013 GMT
When we first designed the NSDL Registry, part of the requirements was that it be able to run in Lynx (seriously) and be usable without JavaScript in all browsers including all versions of IE. As you will probably have noticed, the world of web development has changed a bit in the last 8 years. Lately […]


Posted by: Jon Phipps at 23:32 on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 GMT
Until lately we’ve been pretty happy with our ISP, Dreamhost. But a few months ago, after several during-the-presentation meltdowns of the Registry we determined that we needed to move to a higher-performing, more reliable server. We could have done the easy thing and moved to a Virtual Private Server at Dreamhost. Instead, we setup an […]

SPARQL queries

Posted by: Jon Phipps at 14:55 on Thursday, April 14, 2011 GMT
We’re using Benjamin Nowack‘s excellent ARC libraries for a tiny bit of our RDF management. It may surprise you to know that we don’t use a triple store as our primary data store, but we do too many things with the data that we think are cumbersome at best when managed exclusively in a triple store (a subject […]

Check Your Bookmarks!

Posted by: Diane Hillmann at 19:20 on Tuesday, October 05, 2010 GMT
As of today, the link to Step-by-Step instruction on the Registry front page has been updated (and not a moment too soon). The new link still goes to the Registry Wiki, but the link itself is different, so those of you eager users who have bookmarked the old instructions might want to take a look […]

Announcing the New Open Metadata Registry

Posted by: Diane Hillmann at 21:52 on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 GMT
As of this week, the familiar NSDL Regisry has a new name–the Open Metadata Registry–and a new logo. The name change reflects the fact that we’re no longer receiving funding from the National Science Foundation on behalf of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL), but also recognizes that the Registry has become one of the […]

Readable URIs

Posted by: Jon at 12:52 on Thursday, April 08, 2010 GMT
Over the years we’ve been engaged in a number of discussions in which the ‘readability’ of URIs was raised, either as an issue with non-readable URIs or as a requirement in new URI schemes. At the Registry, we understand and are sensitive to the desire for human readability in URIs. However embedding a language-specific label […]

SKOS updated for Vocabularies

Posted by: Jon at 01:24 on Friday, October 16, 2009 GMT
Just a quick note that today we updated the version of SKOS that we provide for describing value vocabularies. This deprecates the properties that were removed from the final SKOS release and adds the many new ones. We’ve also restricted the non-mapping relation properties (skos:broader, skos:narrower, skos:related) to the ‘containing’ scheme while providing cross-scheme mapping […]

The German National Library: translating and registering RDA elements and vocabularies

Posted by: Veronika Leibrecht at 16:19 on Monday, October 12, 2009 GMT
A prerequisite for the registering of our terms in the NSDL Registry and one of the greatest challenges for the German National Library at the moment is the translation of the RDA elements and vocabularies.  Since bibliographic description is executed with a highly specialised vocabulary, we are finding that the process of pinpointing the appropriate […]

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