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Data Models, Representation, and Adequacy-for-Purpose

Bokulich, Alisa and Parker, Wendy (2021) Data Models, Representation, and Adequacy-for-Purpose. [Preprint]

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Abstract

We critically engage two traditional views of scientific data and outline a novel philosophical view that we call the pragmatic-representational (PR) view of data. On the PR view, data are representations that are the product of a process of inquiry, and they should be evaluated in terms of their adequacy or fitness for particular purposes. Some important implications of the PR view for data assessment, related to misrepresentation, context-sensitivity, and complementary use, are highlighted. The PR view provides insight into the common but little-discussed practices of iteratively reusing and repurposing data, which result in many datasets' having a phylogeny—an origin and complex evolutionary history—that is relevant to their evaluation and future use. We relate these insights to the open-data and data-rescue movements, and highlight several future avenues of research that build on the PR view of data.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Bokulich, Alisaabokulic@bu.edu0000-0002-9406-3904
Parker, Wendywendyparker@vt.edu0000-0001-7796-3401
Keywords: Data, Data Modeling, Data Processing, Legacy Data, Models, Climate Science, Geosciences, Astrophysics, Adequacy-for-Purpose, Pragmatism, Representation
Subjects: General Issues > Data
Depositing User: Alisa Bokulich
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2020 04:12
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2020 04:12
Item ID: 18530
Subjects: General Issues > Data
Date: 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18530

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