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definitions - Document

document (n.)

1.anything serving as a representation of a person's thinking by means of symbolic marks

2.(computer science) a computer file that contains text (and possibly formatting instructions) using seven-bit ASCII characters

3.a written account of ownership or obligation

4.(jurisprudence)writing that provides information (especially information of an official nature)

document (v. trans.)

1.support or supply with references"Can you document your claims?"

2.record in detail"The parents documented every step of their child's development"

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Merriam Webster

documentdoc"u*ment (dŏk"�*m�nt), n. [LL. documentum, fr. docere to teach: cf. F. document. See Docile.]
1. That which is taught or authoritatively set forth; precept; instruction; dogma. [Obs.]

Learners should not be too much crowded with a heap or multitude of documents or ideas at one time. I. Watts.

2. An example for instruction or warning. [Obs.]

They were forth with stoned to death, as a document to others. Sir W. Raleigh.

3. An original or official paper relied upon as the basis, proof, or support of anything else; -- in its most extended sense, including any writing, book, or other instrument conveying information in the case; any material substance on which the thoughts of men are represented by any species of conventional mark or symbol.

Saint Luke . . . collected them from such documents and testimonies as he . . . judged to be authentic. Paley.

DocumentDoc"u*ment, v. t.
1. To teach; to school. [Obs.]

I am finely documented by my own daughter. Dryden.

2. To furnish with documents or papers necessary to establish facts or give information; as, a a ship should be documented according to the directions of law.

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definition (more)

definition of Wikipedia

synonyms - Document

document (n.)

text file

document (n.) (jurisprudence)

papers, written document, case file  (jurisprudence), docket  (jurisprudence), indenture  (jurisprudence), paper  (jurisprudence), record  (jurisprudence), statement  (jurisprudence)

document (v.)



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X • Document-Centric • Document-based question • Document-centric XML processing • Document-oriented database • Document-term matrix • Draft document • Drug Industry Document Archive • Eat the Document • Electronic Common Technical Document • Electronic Document Professional • Electronic Document System • Electronic Document and Records Management System • Electronic document • Element Definition Document • Employment Authorization Document • Estonian temporary travel document • Estonian travel document for refugees • Evince document viewer • Examination support document • False document • Form (document) • Four Document Hypothesis • Franchise Disclosure Document • Get (divorce document) • Gilchrist Document • Global Document Type Identifier • Graphical document • Green Book (Tibetan document) • Halloween document • Here document • High-level document • Historical document • Identity document • Identity document forgery • Integrated Document Management • Interface Control Document • Iraq document leak 18 September 2004 • Kairos Document • Killian document • Legal document assistant • List of document markup languages • Living document • Low-level document • Lumens document camera • MES Hybrid Document Systems • Machine Readable Travel Document • Makkah Document • Mandgelis Document • Marketing Requirements Document • Merchant Mariner's Document • Microsoft Document Imaging Format • Microsoft Office Document Imaging • Microsoft Office Document Scanning • Mobile document access • Montreux Document • Multi-document summarization • Multiple document interface • National Agenda Document Project • Northeast Document Conservation Center • ODD (One Document Does it all) • One-Sheet Document • Open Document Architecture • Open Document Fellowship • Open Document Format Alliance • Outsourced document processing • Palestinian Prisoners' Document • Penmachno Document • Polyptych (document) • Portable Document Format • Product requirements document • Project initiation document • Q document • Questioned document examination • Refugee travel document • Ruby Document format • School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document • Self-authenticating document • Senate Document • Signing of the Document of the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence • Single document interface • Software design document • Sound Document • Source document • Structured document • Sung Document • Supervised document classification • Symbolics Document Examiner • System Reference Document • System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval • Tabbed document interface • The @tached Document • The Attached Document • The Damascus Document • The Shanghai Document • Transaction document • Travel document • Turnaround document • US Identity Document • Ukrainian Travel Document of a Child • United Nations Document Codes • United States government document search tools • Unsupervised document classification • User requirements document • Uttering a forged document • Valid XML document • Visa (document) • Vision document • Web Integration Compound Document • Web document • Wedge Document • Will (document) • World Summit Outcome Document • X12 Document List

analogical dictionary


traite (fr)[Thème]

traite (fr)[termes liés]

document (n.)

document (n.)

document (v. tr.)




The term document has multiple meanings in ordinary language and in scholarship. WordNet 3.1. lists four meanings (October 2011):

  • document, written document, papers (writing that provides information (especially information of an official nature))
  • document (anything serving as a representation of a person's thinking by means of symbolic marks)
  • document (a written account of ownership or obligation)
  • text file, document ((computer science) a computer file that contains text (and possibly formatting instructions) using seven-bit ASCII characters).

In Library and information science and in documentation science is "document" considered a basic theoretical construct. It is everything which may be preserved or represented in order to serve as evidence for some purpose. The classical example provided by Suzanne Briet is an antelope: "An antelope running wild on the plains of Africa should not be considered a document, she rules. But if it were to be captured, taken to a zoo and made an object of study, it has been made into a document. It has become physical evidence being used by those who study it. Indeed, scholarly articles written about the antelope are secondary documents, since the antelope itself is the primary document." (Quoted from Buckland, 1998 [1]). (This view has been seen as an early expression of what now is known as actor–network theory).

That documents cannot be defined by their transmission medium (such as paper) is evident because of the existence of electronic documents.


  What is a document?

The concept of document has been defined as “any concrete or symbolic indication, preserved or recorded, for reconstructing or for proving a phenomenon, whether physical or mental" (Briet, 1951, 7; here quoted from Buckland, 1991).

A much cited article asked "what is a document" and concluded this way: “The evolving notion of ‘‘document’’ among Otlet, Briet, Schürmeyer, and the other documentalists increasingly emphasized whatever functioned as a document rather than traditional physical forms of documents. The shift to digital technology would seem to make this distinction even more important. Levy’s thoughtful analyses have shown that an emphasis on the technology of digital documents has impeded our understanding of digital documents as documents (e.g., Levy, 1994[2]). A conventional document, such as a mail message or a technical report, exists physically in digital technology as a string of bits, as does everything else in a digital environment. As an object of study, it has been made into a document. It has become physical evidence by those who study it.

  Types of documents

Documents are sometimes classified as secret, private or public. They may also be described as a draft or proof. When a document is copied, the source is referred to as the original.

There are accepted standards for specific applications in various fields, such as:

Such standard documents can be created based on a template.

  Developing documents

The page layout of a document is the manner in which information is graphically arranged in the document space (e.g., on a page). If the appearance of the document is of concern, page layout is generally the responsibility of a graphic designer. Typography deals with the design of letter and symbol forms, as well as their physical arrangement in the document (see typesetting). Information design focuses on the effective communication of information, especially in industrial documents and public signs. Simple text documents may not require a visual design and may be handled by an author, clerk or transcriber. Forms may require a visual design for the initial fields, but not to fill out the forms.


Traditionally, the medium of a document was paper and the information was applied to it as ink, either by hand (to make a hand-written document) or by a mechanical process (such as a printing press or, more recently, a laser printer).

Through time, documents have also been written with ink on papyrus (starting in ancient Egypt) or parchment; scratched as runes on stone using a sharp apparatus; stamped or cut into clay and then baked to make clay tablets (e.g., in the Sumerian and other Mesopotamian civilisations). The paper, papyrus or parchment might be rolled up as a scroll or cut into sheets and bound into a book. Today short documents might also consist of sheets of paper stapled together.

Modern electronic means of storing and displaying documents include:

Digital documents usually have to adhere to a specific file format in order to be useful.

That documents cannot be defined by their transmission medium

  In law

Documents in all forms are frequently found to be material evidence in criminal and civil proceedings. The forensic analysis of such a document falls under the scope of questioned document examination. For the purpose of cataloging and managing the large number of documents that may be produced in the course of a law suit, Bates numbering is often applied to all documents so that each document has a unique, aribitrary identifying number.

  See also

Related concepts:

Other related articles:


  1. ^ Buckland, M. (1998). What is a digital document? In: Document Numérique (Paris) 2(2), http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~buckland/digdoc.html
  2. ^ Levy, D. M. (1994) . Fixed or fluid? Document stability and new media. In European Conference on Hypertext Technology 1994 Proceedings, (pp. 24–31) . New York: Association for Computing Machinery. Retrieved 2011-10-18 from: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

  Further reading

  • Briet, S. (1951). Qu'est-ce que la documentation? Paris: Documentaires Industrielles et Techniques.
  • Buckland, M. (1991). Information and information systems. New York: Greenwood Press.
  • Frohmann, Bernd (2009). Revisiting "what is a document?", Journal of Documentation, 65(2), 291-303.
  • Hjerppe, R. (1994). A framework for the description of generalized documents. Advances in Knowledge Organization, 4, 173-180.
  • Houser, L. (1986). Documents: The domain of library and information science. Library and Information Science Research, 8, 163-188.
  • Larsen, P.S. (1999). Books and bytes: Preserving documents for posterity. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 50(11), 1020-1027.
  • Lund, N. W. (2008). Document theory. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 43, 399-432.
  • Riles, A. (Ed.) (2006). Documents: Artifacts of Modern Knowledge. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI.
  • Schamber, L. (1996). What is a document? Rethinking the concept in uneasy times. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 47, 669-671.
  • Ørom, A. (2007). The concept of information versus the concept of document. I: Document (re)turn. Contributions from a research field in transition. Ed. By Roswitha Skare, Niels Windfeld Lund & Andreas Vårheim. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. (pp. 53–72).


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