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Announcement: The operation of NSDL has been transferred to ISKME's OER Commons (effective December, 2014) - Read the news release.

This documentation describes the policies, procedures, and services that existed while NSDL was operated by UCAR.

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Please be aware that the pages under Metadata and Collections are under construction. In the meanwhile, you may refer to the resources on the Participate in the NSDL page.

Annotations Defined

  • This framework's main purpose is to capture user comments, reviews, and teaching tips
  • Can also contain educational standards alignment information
  • Allows annotations to include information about metadata record contributor, annotator,  audience, subject or education level

XML Schema Information

NOTE: this information is required to make this metadata format work in the jOAI application:

NOTE: schema information is always the most accurate information; it supersedes any documentation

Sample Records in XML

Create Item-level Annotations for NSDL

  • possible annotation types: Available language, Assessment strategy, Bias, Challenging audience, Comment, Conception, Editor's summary, Educational standard, Example, Grade fit, Quantitative information, Rating, Related image, Related resource, Review, See also, Skill, Support material, Tag, Teaching tip, Time required indication

NSDL Requirements for an Annotation Collection

  • Provide item-level metadata in the comm_anno metadata format as described above
  • Share you item-level metadata with the NSDL via one of these methods:
    • Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH)
      • If you need OAI software, consider the NSDL supported jOAI software
      • Know OAI base URL and OAI set (if set is applicable) and send to NSDL
    • NCS (NSDL Collection System)
      • Indicated collection name
  • Provide NSDL the following collection-level metadata
    • Make a collection logo that is no larger than 100 pixels wide by 30 pixels tall
    • Determine a name for your collection
    • Provide a description for your collection
    • Provide name and emails for the collection contacts (responsible party and technical person)
    • URL home the collection (if any)
    • Education level of the collection
    • Audience
    • Rights and access rights information
  • Send the above information to NSDL collections


  • For questions and more information, please send your inquiry to NSDL via the contact form
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