DDI Controlled Vocabulary for Data Source Type


Includes a typology of data sources.


Short Name:
Long Name:
Data Source Type
Version Notes:
Version Changes:
Canonical URI:
Canonical URI of this version:
Location URI:
Alternate format location URI:
Alternate format location URI:
Agency Name:
DDI Alliance

Code List
Value of the Code Descriptive Term of the Code Definition of the Code
RegistersRecordsAccounts Registers/Records/Accounts Official, formal, or semi-formal documents listing for example items, names, occurences, actions, or results, and preserved in writing or some other permanent form for later reference.
RegistersRecordsAccounts.Administrative Registers/Records/Accounts: Administrative Information collected on individuals or groups as part of the routine administrative procedures of an agency, business, or institution. Such data are not usually collected with research purposes in mind, may be voluminous, and may require preparation such as coding in order to be usable by researchers. Examples: income tax forms, population registers, naturalization records, birth/death certificates, patent applications, etc.
RegistersRecordsAccounts.Historical Registers/Records/Accounts: Historical Historical records preserve information and constitute evidence about past events. They may be produced by individuals, groups, or organizations. Administrative records become historical when they are no longer retained, or actively used by the issuing agency for their original purpose. Examples include parish registers, estate records, wills, chronicles, etc.
RegistersRecordsAccounts.Legal Registers/Records/Accounts: Legal Records pertaining to law and its administration, for example records related to cases that have been brought to court or to a tribunal.
RegistersRecordsAccounts.MedicalClinical Registers/Records/Accounts: Medical/Clinical Health-related data created or collected by health care professionals about a patient. Usually include the results of medical tests or measurements, findings from consultations or clinical trial programs, etc.
RegistersRecordsAccounts.AcademicAptitude Registers/Records/Accounts: Academic/Aptitude Information gathered during an evaluation process and presented as results. Examples include educational tests, IQ tests, verbal or logical reasoning tests, competence tests for professional occupations, etc.
RegistersRecordsAccounts.EconomicFinancial Registers/Records/Accounts: Economic/Financial Records of the financial activities of a business, person, state institution or other organizations or entities. Examples are statements of retained earnings, cash flow, income statements, a company's balance sheet and tax return.
RegistersRecordsAccounts.Personal Registers/Records/Accounts: Personal Records or accounts created unofficially by individuals or families for other purposes than research. Examples may include private diaries or memoirs, family record books or Bibles, collections of personal documents, photographs, etc.
RegistersRecordsAccounts.VotingResults Registers/Records/Accounts: Voting results Details of votes cast for candidates in an election (also known as "election returns/results"), parliamentary or organizational votes on policies, motions or proposals, public referendums, etc.
EventsInteractions Events/Interactions Events are usually one-time, individual occurrences, with a limited or short duration. An event may be listed as data source when it is directly observed or recorded for research. Interactions are events in which two or more people, groups, objects or systems act upon one another having reciprocal influence, or effect. Examples: types of gatherings (ceremonies, competitions, festivals, meetings), riots, terrorist attacks, computing events (i.e., actions or occurrences detected by computer programs), etc.
Processes Processes Processes are sequences of occurrences, events, activities, actions or operations that take place over time and bring about changes or transformations in organisms, objects, ideas or social phenomena. For example, a business process may include receiving orders, invoicing, shipping the products, or setting a marketing budget.
Processes.Workflows Processes: Workflow(s) Sequence of steps and processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion (adapted from the Oxford dictionary online: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/workflow). Examples from data life cycle: data collection, data processing, data analysis, data archiving, etc.
Communications Communications Messages resulting from the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to convey or exchange information, ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc. (adapted from www.merriam-webster.com).
Communications.Public Communications: Public Communications addressed directly to a public audience, for example, in person (public gatherings, political rallies, etc.), by means of broadcast, print or Internet mass media (radio, television, print or online newspapers/journals), by means of billboards, banners or other signage placed in public view, or social media (public postings on Facebook, Twitter, and others).
Communications.Interpersonal Communications: Interpersonal Communications made by an individual to another individual or a private group of persons, for purposes other than research. For example emails, letters, telephone conversations, social media postings with limited access.
ResearchData Research data Pre-existing data; data that have already been collected and/or used for a different research project.
ResearchData.Published Research data: Published Pre-existing data that have been made available to the general public, or sections thereof.
ResearchData.Unpublished Research data: Unpublished Pre-existing data that have not been made available to the general public, or sections thereof.
PopulationGroup Population group Group of individuals that can be defined by one or several common characteristics: ethnicity, race, gender, age range, geographic location or distribution, level of education, income level or economic status, professional status, state of health or medical conditions, or belonging to specific communities (e.g., special interest groups, or social media), or networks, etc.
GeographicArea Geographic area An area of the Earth, demarcated for the purposes of administration, politics, environment, etc. The demarcation is identifiable via coordinates or other systems used to identify position precisely..
PhysicalObjects Physical objects Natural or man-made entities with spatial locations. For instance, works of art, constructions, rock samples, machines, etc. These are considered data sources if the data describe the physical characteristics of the given object rather than any information encoded in it.
BiologicalSamples Biological samples Biological materials collected from living organisms, including, for example, biological specimens of human or animal organs, cells or tissues such as hair, muscle or tumor tissue, bodily fluids such as blood, urine, saliva, extracted material such as DNA and RNA, microorganisms, plant matter, etc. The source of the data are the samples themselves, not measurements and/or other tests applied to them.
Other Other Use when the data source is known, but not found in the list.


A brief textual description of the type of data source. Supports the use of an external controlled vocabulary.

Module Name Element Name
datacollection SourceType

Used to list the book(s), article(s), serial(s), and/or machine-readable data file(s)--if any--that served as the source(s) of the data collection.

Element Number in DDI 2.1 Element/Attribute Name dataSrc

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