Last modified 5 years ago Last modified on 11/30/12 14:49:34

Vocabulary for Scientific Data Systems

This is an ongoing by Joe Hourclé and Todd King to see if we can manage to reach agreement on terms used to discuss data systems in our efforts for interoperable cross-discipline systems. It is focusing on informal language, not formal language that might be used in published papers or standards such as OAIS.

This page serves as a place to check for corrections, additions or other updates.


Virtual Observatories and other unifying data systems have been forming in nearly every science discipline. As is common in any field, language evolves to discuss the concepts, but it may evolve differently when communities don’t intercommunicate. In order to discuss our organizations and data systems across disciplines, we must have a clear language to be able to communicate information about our systems and the content within our systems. We present common terms and definitions used in earth and space informatics when discussing science archives, search systems, services and other data system components. One benefit of a common vocabulary is to help those who implement science data systems to easily recognize other efforts with a common purpose. A common vocabulary is also useful in identifying analogous terms in other fields such as computer science and information science.