Document review is a data collection method that involves gathering information by reviewing and analyzing existing documents on the subject. These may be internal organizational documents, such as a previous research study, or they may be external documents, such as public court records, government publications, or other third party research.
Document review can help provide background information required to define the scope of more detailed research. Review of public records can establish evidence of dates, times, and chains of command.
“Meta-analysis” is a research technique that uses a structured approach to analyze previous studies. Using statistical techniques, the review can derive quantitative results.
Human rights research sometimes draws on events or names of victims from news accounts—coverage, however, may be inconsistent or unrepresentative, making the matching and de-duplicating of names from news accounts complicated and time-consuming.