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The Concept Space Interchange Protocol supports the deployment of conceptual browsing interfaces in digital libraries. The protocol provides a programmatic interface to dynamically generate interactive visual components that enable users to navigate a concept space, request information about concepts, and request library resources aligned with concepts. The Concept Space Interchange Protocol has been implemented as part of the NSDL Strand Map Service, which enables digital library developers to create user interfaces and services based on nationally recognized K-12 science learning goals developed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The protocol, the principles underpinning its design, and the problem-centered design methodology used to create it are described.