What is Document?
A document is a written or drawn representation of thoughts. Originating from the Latin ‘Documentum’ meaning lesson. The dictionary meaning of document is official paper. Any kind of written, printed or engrave record of knowledge, experience or achievement is called document. A document contains a lot of information. The formal term ‘document’ is defined is LIS and in documentation science as a basic theoretical construct. It is everything which may be preserved or represented in order to serve as evidence for some purpose.
A document service to establish one or several facts, and can be relied upon as a proof there of . Generally speaking, documents function as evidence of intentions, whereas records functions as evidence of activities.
Characteristics of document:
To form a document it should have some characteristics. The characteristics could be in 2 ways. They are:
- Physical Characteristics.
- Intellectual or Inner Characteristics.
A. Physical Characteristics of Document: Physical characteristics of a document define the physical layout of a document. Some of the physical characteristics of a documents are:
- The Nature of document: Every document has to have a nature. Document could be in any form, i.e. printed, written, photocopy, slide, book, non-printed or audio-visual.
- The materials of document: Document contains materials, e.g. paper, clay, wood, palm leaves, iron sheet, stones, bricks etc, these thing helps to form a document.
- Production process: Document follow many continuity process to be formed. Many people are engaged in creating a document, like author, writers, editors, publishers etc.
- Periodicity: Document doesn’t publish always. Document published from time to time. Even, to write a new document help to another document is needed. It is called periodicity.
- Method of publication: A document should obviously be published.
- Size: A good document should have a standard size.
- Weight: Every document have a weight, because it is made of different materials.
- Layout: A document should have a physical layout.
B. Intellectual/ Inner characteristics of a document: Intellectual characteristics of a document includes the followings:
- Purpose: Document should have a purpose that define the need of that information.
- Content: A good content should be enlisted to describe the usability of the main document.
- Author: Author should write a document. Author could be one person or multiple persons.
- Subject: A document have specific and meaningful subject matter when it is published.
- Source: A document has to have a source from where it is formed. That means, form where or how this information should collect.
- Validity: this document should be valid for a specific time.
- Writing Style: This document should follow standard and specific writing style.
- Accessibility: This document should be easy to use.
- structure: A document should have a structure that attract the user and seek their attention.