Types of Research and Information Documents – II

The second part of the article discusses about informational documents. As the documents confine themselves only to present information, they are aptly named as Informational documents. Unlike Analytical papers, they will not discuss about an issue or a research problem. They cover many areas in the process of gaining comprehensiveness of the subject.

Informational Documents

These documents involve lot of research and documentation about a subject or many subjects of broader scope that is useful to a fairly large section of the people. They are primarily published to give Information to public. These documents are mostly used in politics and industry. These documents are often updated in the process to be contemporary and relevant to the current times. Blue Book and Living document come under this category. A brief description of each of them is as below-

Blue Book

Blue book or Bluebook is a term often referring to an almanac or other compilation of statistics and information. A prominent example is the Blue Book published annually by the Office for National Statistics of UK that contains the estimates of the domestic and national product, income and expenditure for the United Kingdom. In industry, the industry bodies release Blue Book that contains information related to the companies in that industry.

A Blue Book acts as an authoritative reference to the information related to the field. Primarily, it is a compilation of statistics and information updated on a yearly basis.

Living Document

A living document is a document, which is continually edited and updated by either a limited or an unrestricted group, for example- an article in Wikipedia. A living document may or may not have a proper framework for updates, changes, or adjustments. The United States Constitution is sometimes considered a living document as it can be reinterpreted and updated endlessly by judges without actual amendment.

The main purpose of the constant updates is to make the document achieve comprehensiveness over the subject in the course of time.

In business, a living document is more structured and exists as a shared document among the employees. It may be a draft work initially, which transforms into a more acceptable document over a series of modifications that finally standardizes with the consent of the employees involved. However, it is open to modifications even at this stage.

The common aspect of the information documents is they just present data in a structured manner, facilitating different kinds of applications by different users for diverse purposes. In the next and final part of the article, we will discuss about summary documents.