CoM.1: Documents Analysis

CoM.1: Analysis of Documents, Artefacts and Archival Records

Document analysis in one of the main methods used in FenRIAM in order to collect qualitative information and numerical data.

Document analysis deals with the extraction of quantitative and / or qualitative information from a large variety of written or electronic documents (e.g. studies, reports, proposals, articles, letters, agendas, minutes, websites, mass media, statistical data bases, organisational records, maps and charts, lists, personal records). Information from documents must be treated with care, since each document has been written with a specific purpose for a specific audience. This needs to be considered in evaluating the reliability and significance of the extracted information. In the case of quantitative data the accuracy of the provided numbers, the applied definitions, the collection processes and the conditions under which the data have been gathered should be taken into account in order to decide, whether the data match the quality requirements of the study. Comparability of the data must be ensured in particular for comparative studies of different facilities.


  • Identify relevant data sources
  • Select suitable data sources (accessibility, time effort , ...) and ensure access
  • Review information, extract requested data, prepare excerpt
  • Verify data quality and comparability (if required)

Data sources (examples, not complete):

  • Project proposal
  • Technical project documents and studies
  • Administrative project documents
  • Project website
  • Project meeting records
  • Project presentations
  • Scientific publications related to the project
  • Promotional materials about the project
  • Articles published in mass media about the project
  • Reports of comparable facilities
  • Websites of comparable facilities
  • Scientific¬† and technical publications of comparable facilities
  • Impact studies of comparable facilities
  • All types of scientific studies concerning relevant aspects
  • Statistical data sources (e.g. Eurostat, OECD, institutional databases)


Standard textbooks