Document review is the process of examining documents to identify and extract relevant information. It is essential to many legal and business processes, such as litigation, due diligence, and research.
The stages of document review vary depending on the specific context, but some general steps are common to most document reviews.
The first step in any document review is to develop a plan. This involves identifying the purpose of the review, the scope of the review, and the review methodology.
- Purpose of the review: What are you trying to achieve with the document review? Are you trying to identify specific information? Are you trying to assess the overall quality of the documents?
- Scope of the review: What documents will be reviewed? What types of information are you looking for?
- Review methodology: How will the documents be reviewed? What tools and resources will be used?
Once the plan is in place, the next step is to prepare the documents for review. This may involve organising the documents, converting them to a digital format, and indexing them.
- Organising the documents: The documents should be organised to make it easy to find and review the relevant information. This may involve creating a document management system or using a spreadsheet to track the documents.
- Converting the documents to a digital format: If the documents are not already digital, they must be converted. This will make it easier to review the documents using electronic tools.
- Indexing the documents: Indexing the documents involves creating a searchable database of the documents. This will make it easier to find specific information in the documents.
This is the stage where the documents are actually reviewed. The reviewers will look for the information identified in the planning stage. They may also note any other relevant information that they find.
- Reviewing the documents: The reviewers will typically read the documents carefully and take notes. They may also use electronic tools to search for specific information or to compare documents.
- Noting relevant information: The reviewers will note any relevant information. This information may be used to create a summary of the documents, to identify trends, or to develop recommendations.
Once the documents have been reviewed, conducting a quality control check is important to ensure the review is thorough and accurate.
- Quality control check: The quality control check may involve reviewing the reviewer notes, checking for consistency, and verifying the accuracy of the extracted information.
The final stage of the document review is to report on the findings. This may involve writing a summary of the documents, creating a database of the extracted information, or developing recommendations.