The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), in its Nanotechnology Signature Initiative (NSI) for a Nanotechnology Knowledge Infrastructure (NKI), has recognized the importance of enabling "a robust digital nanotechnology data and information infrastructure to support effective data sharing, collaboration, and innovation across disciplines and applications." The Nanomaterial Registry is a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded public tool that has been developed in support of this goal.

The Nanomaterial Registry properly archives curated nanomaterial data and has made them available to the nanomaterial community. As multidisciplinary nanomaterial data are archived, they are transformed into information via specific data curation and structured presentation. One goal of the Registry is that researchers can use this information in downstream analyses to elicit the discovery of emergent trends and data gaps. Through this mechanism, the Registry will support the continuum of understanding in nanotechnology, from data, to information, to knowledge—and, ultimately, wisdom.

Vision: The continuum of understanding in nanotechnology

Key concepts—such as a minimal information set for nanomaterials, data compliance scoring, controlled vocabulary, and ontology—are being developed and applied to the data and the data collection process by the Registry. Whenever possible, the Registry leverages existing community resources, efforts, and best practices. Success in these efforts will enable effective use of research, manufacturing, and regulatory data, thereby accelerating the creation of knowledge.

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