Reference Values

A reference list is a controlled, well defined vocabulary that can be used in data creation and practice. A reference list may also be referred to as a vocabulary or list of values. Where possible, industry standard lists should be used. Ideally, reference lists are owned and managed by a professional society or standards organization who develops and maintains list on behalf of its members and industry. The contents of reference lists should be managed by implementers as a critical element in their data governance program.

Reference Values have several important functions and be fit for purpose. They verify that a value is “valid” and avoids ambiguity or circular references. They contain hierarchies where a user can select a value that is appropriate for the situation. They require maintenance and active data governance, and support corporate dialects that allow for mappings to be based on semantics rather than the term.
The Reference Values on this site have been compiled by PPDM Association members over many years. Some contain lists of values created by PPDM Association members, and others contain links to lists of values created by another source. We have consolidated the information here for your convenience.
The Reference Values Site is an active and growing set of lists that is maintained by a dedicated PPDM Association work group. If you would like to contribute values, a list of values or participate in this work group, please contact us at
The descriptions and name given to a reference list provides important information about whether a list is suitable for a particular purpose. The PPDM Association Reference Values work group has developed a set of guidelines for building and naming reference lists.
Click here for more >
For a more detailed review of these concepts and more, please take a moment to review 'Reference Lists Explained'.
As you use lists, particularly those from other parties, it is important to understand your rights to use or modify the values. See Disclaimer.

Reference Value Members

Full NameOrganizationPosition
Chris HoughChevronParticipant
Dave Fisher, P.Geol.David Fisher ConsultingParticipant
Mark HooperKatalyst Data ManagementParticipant
Patrick KellyInfosys - Denver, COParticipant