Web document

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A web document is similar in concept to a web page, but also satisfies the following broader definition by W3C:

"... Every Web document has its own URI. Note that a Web document is not the same as a file: a single Web document can be available in many different formats and languages, and a single file, for example a PHP script, may be responsible for generating a large number of Web documents with different URIs. A Web document is defined as something that has a URI and can return representations (responses in a format such as HTML or JPEG or RDF) of the identified resource in response to HTTP requests. In technical literature ... the term Information Resource is used instead of Web document.".[1]

The term "web document" has been used as a fuzzy term in many sources[2][3][4][5][6] but in all of them the W3C definition given above applies. Recent research in fields like "Web Document Retrieval" and "Web Document Analysis"[7][8][9][10][11][12] has revived interest in clarifying the correct use of the term.

Some argue that "document" is an inappropriate term for content with external dependencies, and is only meaningfully applied to stand-alone content, such as in PDF or EPUB formats.[13]

The key idea is that a single underlying resource in an HTTP system, may have several different representations, which can be exposed by mechanisms such as content negotiation.[14]


  1. ^ "Cool URIs for the Semantic Web". W3C. 2008. 
  2. ^ "W3C Recommended list of XML-Web documents". 
  3. ^ G. Penn, J. Hu, H. Luo, R. McDonald (2001). Flexible Web Document Analysis for Delivery to Narrow-Bandwidth Devices. pp. 1074–1078. doi:10.1109/ICDAR.2001.953951. ISBN 0-7695-1263-1. 
  4. ^ L. Xiao, X. Zhang, and Z. Xu (2002). On reliable and scalable peer-to-peer Web document sharing. pp. 23–30. doi:10.1109/IPDPS.2002.1015498. ISBN 0-7695-1573-8. 
  5. ^ US 5802530, Van Hoff, Arthur A., "Web document based graphical user interface" 
  6. ^ First International Workshop on Web Document Analysis. WDA2001. 
  7. ^ B. Poblete and R. Baeza-Yates (2008). Query-sets: using implicit feedback and query patterns to organize web documents. pp. 41–50. doi:10.1145/1367497.1367504. ISBN 978-1-60558-085-2. 
  8. ^ A. Fujii (2008). Modeling anchor text and classifying queries to enhance web document retrieval. pp. 337–346. doi:10.1145/1367497.1367544. ISBN 978-1-60558-085-2. 
  9. ^ Apostolos Antonacopoulos (2003). Web Document Analysis: Challenges and Opportunities. World Scientific. ISBN 981-238-582-7. 
  10. ^ Web Document Analysis 2005. WDA2005. 
  11. ^ Kang, In-Ho; Kim, GilChang (2003). Query type classification for web document retrieval. pp. 64–71. doi:10.1145/860435.860449. ISBN 1-58113-646-3. 
  12. ^ O. Zamir and O. Etzioni (1998). Web document clustering: a feasibility demonstration. pp. 46–54. doi:10.1145/290941.290956. ISBN 1-58113-015-5. 
  13. ^ The 8 most popular document formats
  14. ^ "Man my blog". Man My blog. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 

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