NSDL Documentation Wiki

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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The Search API allows developers to search for resources in the NSDL digital library and build customized search and browse interfaces for a variety of applications. Search queries operate over both the content of the resources and all related metadata including resource-level metadata, annotations, and use data/paradata. The Search API is based on an index of terms, compiled and accessed using the Lucene search engine, and results are returned in ranked order by relevance. In cases where there are more than one record in the repository for a given resource (URL), the API automatically groups these together to form one result for each match (duplicate results are avoided).

The Search API uses a REST-RPC hybrid approach to accept requests expressed as HTTP argument/value pairs and respond with structured data in XML or JSON format, allowing developers to embed and reuse NSDL resources using a wide range of technologies such as JavaScript, PHP and JSP.

The API is implemented with an instance of the the Digital Discovery System (DDS) repository search server.


What's Happening

The Search API is used to power the NSDL.org web site, NSDL partner sites and a number of learning applications. The API is the primary access point for resource metadata, annotations, use data/paradata, and collection metadata in the NSDL repository.

See it in Action

The API base URLs is:

User Interfaces implemented with the API:

Get Involved

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


NSDL Search Client

  • Download the NSDL Search Client (download from SourceForge), a customizable HTML/JavaScript page that provides search over NSDL resources and collections. Use the client as a template to embed and customize NSDL search on any Web site.

Additional Reading

See Related

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