Documentation is a term used in several different ways. Generally, documentation (to document) refers to the process of providing evidence.
Modules of Documentation are Helpful. The most common meanings are:
  • the process of documenting knowledge (or rather knowledge claims) (as done in, for example, scientific journals).
  • the writing of software documentation
    Software documentation
    Software documentation or source code documentation is written text that accompanies computer software. It either explains how it operates or how to use it, and may mean different things to people in different roles....

     (or other kinds of product documentation)
  • a synonym for the term document
    The term document has multiple meanings in ordinary language and in scholarship. WordNet 3.1. lists four meanings :* document, written document, papers...

  • a synonym for the term bibliography
    Bibliography , as a practice, is the academic study of books as physical, cultural objects; in this sense, it is also known as bibliology...

  • a field of study and a profession founded by Paul Otlet
    Paul Otlet
    Paul Marie Ghislain Otlet was an author, entrepreneur, visionary, lawyer and peace activist; he is one of several people who have been considered the father of information science, a field he called "documentation". Otlet created the Universal Decimal Classification, one of the most prominent...

     (1868-1944) and Henri La Fontaine
    Henri La Fontaine
    Henri La Fontaine , was a Belgian international lawyer and president of the International Peace Bureau. He received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1913.-Biography:...

     (1854-1943), which is also termed documentation science
    Documentation science
    -Introduction:Documentation science, documentation studies or just documentation is a field of study and a profession founded by Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine . Professionals educated in this field are termed documentalists...

    . Professionals educated in this field are termed documentalists. This field changed its name to information science in 1968, but some uses of the term documentation still exists and there have been efforts to reintroduce the term documentation as a field of study.

Classical documentation is a set of documents printed on paper. .

Documentation composure

Documentation may include
  • written information for any read, projection or technical performing,
  • data media of any format and for any reproduction,
  • other content.

Common types of documentation include user guides, white papers, on-line help, quick-reference guides. It is less common to see hard-copy (paper) documentation. Documentation is distributed via websites, software products, and other on-line applications.

Principles for producing documentation

While associated ISO standards are not easily available publicly, a guide from other sources for this topic may serve the purpose , ,. David Berger has provided several principles of document writing, regarding the terms used, procedure numbering and even lengths of sentences, etc.


The following is a list of guides dealing with each specific field and type:
  • documentation in health care
  • thesis writing , ,
  • papers for academic journal publishing (i.e. Journal of Food Science
    Journal of Food Science
    The Journal of Food Science is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that was established in 1936 and is published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the Institute of Food Technologists in Chicago, Illinois...

      and Analytical Chemistry
    Analytical Chemistry (journal)
    Analytical Chemistry is a peer-reviewed scientific journal, published since 1929 by the American Chemical Society. It is currently indexed/abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts Service, CABI, EBSCOhost, ProQuest, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science...


Procedures and techniques

The procedures of documentation vary from one sector, or one type, to another. In general, these may involve document drafting, formatting, submitting, reviewing, approving, distributing, repositing and tracking, etc., and are convened by associated SOP
Standing operating procedure
The terms standard operating procedure or SOP, is used in a variety of different contexts, such as healthcare, education, industry or the military. The military uses the term Standing Operating Procedure- rather than Standard- because an SOP refers to an organization's unique procedures, which are...

s in a regulatory industry , , ,.

Producing documentation

Technical writers and corporate communicators are professionals whose field and work is documentation. Ideally, technical writers have a background in both the subject matter and also in writing and managing content (information architecture). Technical writers more commonly collaborate with subject matter experts (SMEs), such as engineers, medical professionals, or other types of clients to define and then create content (documentation) that meets the user's needs. Corporate communications includes other types of written documentation that is required for most companies.

Specializing documentation

  • Marketing Communications
    Marketing communications
    Marketing Communications are messages and related media used to communicate with a market...

     (MarCom) MarCom writers endeavor to convey the company's value proposition through a variety of print, electronic, and social media. This area of corporate writing is often engaged in responding to proposals.
  • Technical Communication
    Technical communication
    Technical communication is a method of researching and creating information about technical processes or products directed to an audience through media. The information must be relevant to the intended audience. Technical communicators often work collaboratively to create products for various...

     (TechCom) Technical writers document a company's project or service. Technical publication include user guides, installation manuals, and troubleshooting/repair/replace procedures.
  • Legal Writing
    Legal writing
    Legal writing is a type of technical writing used by lawyers, judges, legislators, and others in law to express legal analysis and legal rights and duties.- Authority :...

     This type of documentation is often prepared by attorneys or paralegals who could be in private practice or retained as corporate council.
  • Compliance documentation
    Compliance can mean:*In mechanical science, the inverse of stiffness*Compliance , a patient's adherence to a recommended course of treatment...

     This type of documentation codifies Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), for any regulatory compliance needs, as for safety approval, taxation, financing, technical approval, etc.


  • Index (database)
    Index (database)
    A database index is a data structure that improves the speed of data retrieval operations on a database table at the cost of slower writes and increased storage space...

  • Index (search engine)
    Index (search engine)
    Search engine indexing collects, parses, and stores data to facilitate fast and accurate information retrieval. Index design incorporates interdisciplinary concepts from linguistics, cognitive psychology, mathematics, informatics, physics, and computer science...

Documentation in computer science

The following are typical documentation types
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Requirements/ Statement of Work/ Scope of Work (SOW
    Sow may refer to:* Sowing seed* Female animals: badger, bear, pig family* Shape in which metal is cast* Type of siege engine* River Sow, England* "Sow", a poem by Sylvia Plath* Sow , the band/spoken word project comprising Anna Wildsmith-People:...

  • Software Design and Functional Specification
  • System Design and Functional Specifications
  • Change Management, Error and Enhancement Tracking
  • User Test and Acceptance (UTA
    -Computer Software Application:Unmanned Trading Application - computer application automatically generating orders to electronic financial market, also known as algorithmic trading,automated trading or black Box-Places:Italy...


Tools for documenting software

There are many types of software and applications used to create documentation.


A common type of software document written by software engineers in the simulation industry is the SDF. When developing software for a simulator, which can range from embedded avionics devices to 3D terrain databases by way of full motion control systems, the engineer keeps a notebook detailing the development "the build" of the project or module. The document can be a wiki page, MS word document or other environment. They should contain a requirements section, an interface section to detail the communication interface of the software. Often a notes section is used to detail the proof of concept, and then track errors and enhancements. Finally, a testing section to document how the software was tested. This documents conformance to the client's requirements. The result is a detailed description of how the software is designed, how to build and install the software on the target device, and any known defects and work-arounds. This build document enables future developers and maintainers to come up to speed on the software in a timely manner, and also provides a roadmap to modifying code or searching for bugs.

Documentation in criminal justice

"Documentation" is the preferred term for the process of populating criminal databases. Examples include the National Counterterrorism Center
National Counterterrorism Center
The National Counterterrorism Center is a United States government organization responsible for national and international counterterrorism efforts. It is based in a modern complex near McLean, Virginia called Liberty Crossing...

's Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment
Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment
The Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, is the U.S. Government's central database on known or suspected international terrorists, and contains highly classified information provided by members of the Intelligence Community such as CIA, DIA, FBI, NSA, and many others.There are about 550,000...

 ("TIDE"), sex offender registries, and gang databases.

See also

  • Authoring
    Authoring may refer to:* Writing, as by an author* Authoring systems, computer based systems that allow the creation of content for intelligent tutoring systems...

  • Bibliographic control
    Bibliographic control
    In library and information science, bibliographic control is the process by which information resources are described so that users are able to find and select that information resource. An information resource could be a book, a movie, or an image, among other things...

  • Change control
    Change Control
    Change control within Quality management systems and Information Technology systems is a formal process used to ensure that changes to a product or system are introduced in a controlled and coordinated manner...

  • Citation Index
    Broadly, a citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source . More precisely, a citation is an abbreviated alphanumeric expression Broadly, a citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source (not always the original source). More precisely, a citation is an abbreviated...

  • Copyright
    Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

  • Description
    Description is one of four rhetorical modes , along with exposition, argumentation, and narration. Each of the rhetorical modes is present in a variety of forms and each has its own purpose and conventions....

  • Document
    The term document has multiple meanings in ordinary language and in scholarship. WordNet 3.1. lists four meanings :* document, written document, papers...

  • Documentation (field)
  • Document identifier
    DOI or DoI may refer to:* Doi , a Japanese surname* The Bengali term for Yoghurt* Doi , or Camera no Doi, a Japanese company* Digital object identifier, a persistent identifier given to objects...

  • Document management system
    Document management system
    A document management system is a computer system used to track and store electronic documents and/or images of paper documents. It is usually also capable of keeping track of the different versions created by different users . The term has some overlap with the concepts of content management...

  • Documentary
    Documentary film
    Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

  • Freedom of information
    Freedom of information
    Freedom of information refers to the protection of the right to freedom of expression with regards to the Internet and information technology . Freedom of information may also concern censorship in an information technology context, i.e...

  • Glossary
    A glossary, also known as an idioticon, vocabulary, or clavis, is an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge with the definitions for those terms...

  • Historical document
    Historical document
    Historical documents are documents that contain important information about a person, place, or event.Most famous historical documents are either laws, accounts of battles , or the exploits of the powerful...

  • Index (publishing)
    Index (publishing)
    An index is a list of words or phrases and associated pointers to where useful material relating to that heading can be found in a document...

  • ISO 690
    ISO 690
    ISO 690 is an ISO standard for bibliographic referencing in documents of all sorts. It includes electronic documents, and specifies the elements to be included in references to published documents, and the order in which the elements of the reference should be stated...

  • ISO 5964
    ISO 5964
    ISO 5964 is an ISO standard for the establishment and development of multilingual thesauri. Its full title is "Guidelines for the establishment and development of multilingual thesauri." It is intended to be used in conjunction with ISO 2788, "Guidelines for the establishment and development of...

  • ISO 9001

  • International Standard Bibliographic Description
    International Standard Bibliographic Description
    The International Standard Bibliographic Description is a set of rules produced by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions to describe a wide range of library materials within the context of a catalog. The consolidated edition of the ISBD was published in 2007...

  • Licensing
  • List of Contents
  • Manual
    Manual may mean:* Instructions** User guide** Owner's manual** Instruction manual ** Online help** Unix manual - known as "man pages"* Manual - a keyboard, as for an organ* Manual * A manual is a special kind of wheelie....

  • Medical certificate
    Medical certificate
    A medical certificate is a document stating either that a person has passed a medical examination, or that a person is unfit for work for a stated period of time .- See also :* Documentation* Medical documentation...

  • Publishing
    Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information—the activity of making information available to the general public...

  • Records management
    Records management
    Records management, or RM, is the practice of maintaining the records of an organization from the time they are created up to their eventual disposal...

  • Style guide
    Style guide
    A style guide or style manual is a set of standards for the writing and design of documents, either for general use or for a specific publication, organization or field...

  • Technical communication
    Technical communication
    Technical communication is a method of researching and creating information about technical processes or products directed to an audience through media. The information must be relevant to the intended audience. Technical communicators often work collaboratively to create products for various...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.