A much cited article asked "what is a document" and concluded this way: “The evolving notion of ‘‘document’’ among (Jonathan Priest). 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). 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: a7a: thesis, paper, journal
Business and accounting: Invoice, quote, RFP, Proposal, Contract, Packing slip, Manifest, Report detailed & summary, Spread sheet, MSDS, Waybill, Bill of Lading (BOL), Financial statement, Nondisclosure agreement (NDA) or sometimes referred to as; Mutual nondisclosure agreement (MNDA) Law and politics: summons, certificate, license, gazette
Government and industry: white paper, application forms, user-guide Media and marketing: brief, mock-up, script
Such standard documents can be created based on a template.