The Network Data Dictionary is a device for enabling standardization of data structures in programs, file layouts and Data Base Management System (DBMS) schema residing in Include Files located on one or more computers in a network. By making the data structures comply with the data element definitions stored in a common data element dictionary, improvements in the quality, accuracy, and consistency of data can be obtained, while simultaneously providing productivity advantages to programmers. The device is set up to organize a set of disparate Include Files (representing data structure descriptions corresponding to program structures, file layouts, and DBMS schema), in one or more computers in a network under a common scheme called the Include File Dictionary, so that these Include Files are made accessible by the device to programmers for sharing, controlled modification, and use. The Include Files are enabled by the device so that programmers can edit these with reference to a common data element dictionary (DED) residing on one of the network nodes. Measurement of the extent to which Include Files correspond to dictionary standards are reported on compilation reports so that corrective actions (such as reconciling conflicting data element definitions) can be taken.