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Data are observable, raw ‘values’ that result from research or monitoring activities; these values can be numerical (as in temperature or salinity measurements) or nominal (as in species lists for a particular region). ‘Data’ distinguishes from ‘information’. The term ‘information’ is commonly used to mean data that have already been processed and/or interpreted results. In that sense, so-called ‘metadata’, i.e. data about data (e.g. by whom, at what time, where and how the results were collected) can be considered a special kind of ‘information’..
- Jan Seys, Jan Mees, Ward Vanden Berghe and Peter Pissiersens: Marine Data Management: we can do more, but can we do better? (IODE, Unesco) 
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