At the AGU, I presented a poster on vocabulary for discussing data systems, and someone left a note at my poster stating:
You have a bias here towards observational data. Need to recognize that a lot of data comes from models and analyses.
And I completely agree; I didn't mention models and the values that come from them at all, and I had defined 'data' in such a way as it only covered observational data:
Values collected as part of a scientific investigation; may be qualified as ‘science data’. This includes uncalibrated values (raw data), derived values (calibrated data), and other transformations of the values (processed data).
... but do scientists consider those resultant values to be 'data'? I've talked to a few scientists over this last week (all in solar or space physics), and everyone of them including those who deal with modeling, were of the option that it was 'model output', but not 'data', (although one made the distinction between the philosphical concept of 'data' being multiple values, but said he didn't consider it to be 'science data' and commented that some of the earth science folks considered the values from their models to be data)
So, the question -- is there a better term to use other than 'model output', and are there fields where 'model output' is considered to be 'data'?
note : there's also the issue of the definitions of raw vs. derived vs. processed data, as there's different definitions used by instrument operators, but just ignore that issue in the definition of 'data' for the time being.
note 2 : I originally asked this on meta, and there were suggetions I move it to the main site; I've edited the text slightly due to a response I had yesterday from my surveying the scientists I work with.
note 3 : to set the context, the original intent was to identify clear or ambiguous terms across science disciplines, but the intended users were the data informatics community (those building data systems for the most part, not necessarily the scientists), but part of the issue is using language that won't offend or confuse the discipline scientists