Mercury Logo MERCURY
Distributed Metadata Management, Data Discovery and Access System
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Projects Using Mercury
Below is a list of important links for projects using Mercury. For a brief description of these projects, please go to the Mercury Projects page.

ORNL Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) U.S. Geological Survey - Core Science Analytics and Synthesis (CSAS) DataONE Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA) Discovery, Access, and Delivery of Data for IPY (DADDI) Modeling and Synthesis Thematic Data Center (MAST-DC) USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) Better Air Quality for North America (NARSTO)
IABIN Invasives Information Network (I3N)
Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) Environmental Data for the Oak Ridge Area (EDORA) Carbon Sequestration (CARBONSEQ) Global Ocean Data Analysis Project (OCEAN)
About Mercury
Mercury is a Web-based system to search for metadata and retrieve associated data. Mercury incorporates a number of important features. Mercury
  • Invokes a new paradigm for managing dynamic distributed scientific data and metadata
  • Provide a single portal to information contained in disparate data management systems
  • Provide free text, fielded, spatial, and temporal search capabilities
  • Puts control in the hands of investigators or other data providers
  • Has a very light touch (i.e., is inexpensive to implement)
  • Is implemented using Internet standards, including XML
  • Supports international metadata standards, including FGDC, Dublin-Core, EML, ISO-19115
  • Is compatible with Internet search engines
  • Is based on a combination of open source tools and ORNL-developed software

The new Mercury system is based on open source and Service Oriented Architecture and provides multiple search services including: RSS, Geo-RSS, OpenSearch, Web Services and JSR-168 Portlets.

Mercury License can be viewed at:

Mercury Architecture

Mercury has the unique capability to extract, or harvest, metadata from HTML pages or XML files located anywhere on the Internet. Participating in Mercury is easy for data providers. No special software is needed by the data provider, only a Web server on which to post files.

Mercury provides a single portal to information contained in disparate data management systems. It collects metadata and key data from contributing project servers distributed around the world and builds a centralized index. The Mercury search interfaces then allow the users to perform simple, fielded, spatial and temporal searches across these metadata sources. Mercury supports various metadata standards including XML, Z39.50, FGDC, Dublin-Core, Darwin-Core, EML, and ISO-19115.

The Mercury system is based on a Service Oriented Architecture and supports various services such as Thesaurus Service, Gazetteer Web Service and UDDI Directory Services. This system also provides various search services including: RSS, Geo-RSS, OpenSearch, Web Services and JSR-168 Portlets. Other features include: Filtering and dynamic sorting of search results, book-markable search results, save, retrieve, and modify search criteria.

2008 NASA Earth Science Data Systems - Software Reuse Award
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What's New?
  • July, 23 2012
    DataONE goes live! The Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE), a portal for environmental science data exploration, announced that it's gone live as of July 23, 2012.
  • January, 10 2012
    USGS CSAS Clearinghouse now has over 96,000 metadata records from more than 85 data providers
  • September, 08 2011
    Mercury now supports OpenSearch, OAI-PMH services, for more information about these services please contact mercury-support [at]
  • June, 29 2011
    Mercury also incorporates Complex Objects in Spans (COinS) tags, to enable loading search results into bibliographic tools such as Zotero and Mendeley.

Mercury Presentations
Mercury Presentation Slides
Meet the Development Team
The following individuals directly contributed to the design, development, or adaptation of the new Mercury.
  • Giri Palanisamy
  • Ranjeet Devarakonda
  • Biva Shrestha
  • Jim Green
Technical Questions/Comments
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