NIH Common Data Elements (CDE) logo

The NIH Common Data Elements (CDE) Repository has been designed to provide access to structured human and machine-readable definitions of data elements that have been recommended or required by NIH Institutes and Centers and other organizations for use in research and for other purposes.

The Repository is a platform for identifying related data elements in use across diverse areas, for harmonizing data elements, and for linking CDEs to other existing standards and terminologies, including the value sets in the Value Set Authority Center (VSAC).


Search for individual data elements, by definition, users or sources. Search for sets of data elements ("boards") identified by a particular group for a particular use (e.g particular research solicitation).

Compare / Harmonize

Analyze and resolve differences between data elements. Assure that your forms are using variables that will be usable by certified EHRs.


Draw upon the experience of colleagues and others to design unique data elements and measures.