I have been wondering this for awhile now.
When people submit a recipe, like this
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 4 days at 68 Degrees
Are you guys talking about ambient room temp or temp of the beer?
I keep my Fermentation room @62F and my beer temp is 68F or so
unless someone is doing something odd, it should be the temp of the beer. As you already seem to know, though, the beer temp is often higher than the ambient.
I always assume they mean actual beer tempature.
That's what i was thinking also but its nice to be on the same page