grouped into seven broad categories.2 Five of the seven categories are relevant to archived data and this NRC study. They appear in bold text in the following list: (1) Original Data; (2) Synthesized Products; (3) Interpreted Products; (4) Hydrometeorological, Hazardous Chemical Spill, and Space Weather Warnings, Forecasts, and Advisories; (5) Natural Resource Plans; (6) Experimental Products; and (7) Corporate and General Information. These seven categories are described in more detail below.

Original Data are data in their most basic useful form. These are data from individual times and locations that have not been summarized or processed to higher levels of analysis. While these data are often derived from other direct measurements (for example, spectral signatures from a chemical analyzer, electronic signals from current meters), they represent properties of the environment. These data can be disseminated in both real time and retrospectively. Examples of original data include buoy data, survey data (for instance, living marine resource and hydrographic surveys), biological and chemical properties, weather observations, and satellite data.

Synthesized Products are those that have been developed through analysis of original data. This category includes analysis through statistical methods; model interpolations, extrapolations, and simulations; and combinations of multiple sets of original data. While some scientific evaluation and judgment are needed, the methods of analysis are well documented and relatively routine. Examples of synthesized products include summaries of fisheries landings statistics, weather statistics, model outputs, data display through Geographical Information System techniques, and satellite-derived maps.

Interpreted Products are those that have been developed through interpretation of original data and synthesized products. In many cases, this information incorporates additional contextual and/or normative data, standards, or information that puts original data and synthesized products into larger spatial, temporal, or issue-oriented contexts. This information is derived through scientific interpretation, evaluation, and judgment. Examples of interpreted products include journal articles, scientific papers, technical reports, and production of and contributions to integrated assessments. (Note, however, that this does not include the data and products used to make these interpretations.) These data are not applicable to the NRC study.

Hydrometeorological, Hazardous Chemical Spill, and Space Weather Warnings, Forecasts, and Advisories are time-critical interpretations of


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Information Quality Guidelines, 2002; available online at

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