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One important aspect of scientific data management is metadata management Metadata is information about data (e g content source processing applied precision) One kind of metadata which needs special attention is the data derivation information i e how data are generated In our application domain of geographical information sys- tems (GIS) and global change research we view scientific objects according to three different extents spatial tempo- ral and derivation While the spatial and temporal extents have been studied and formal semantics to those extents proposed derivation semantics have been ignored This paper presents a framework for capturing and managing scientific data derivation histories as implemented in the Gaea scientific database management system We focus on how Gaea handles metadata and propose to extend current semantic modeling and object-oriented technology with special constructs concepts processes and tasks Concepts are used to capture entity sets with imprecise definitions A process captures the derivation procedure of a specific scientific object class while a task is the instance representing the derivation of a scientific data object We believe that this framework useful for GIS and global change studies generalizes well to other scientific fields