The Common Data Set (CDS) is a collaborative effort between publishers and the higher education community to improve the quality and consistency of information reported in college guide books. The CDS consists of a series of standard data items and definitions that are compiled annually by all participating institutions. Each of the higher education surveys conducted by the participating publishers incorporates items from the CDS as well as unique items proprietary to each publisher. Consequently, the publishers' surveys differ in that they utilize varying numbers of items from the CDS. Participating publishers include: The College Board, Peterson's, and U.S. News and World Report.