Unlike a typical filmed documentary, which is both linear and a reduced synthesis of source materials, database documentaries are modular, branching, and hyper textual. Database documentaries are multi linear, not watched, but rather performed by a reader/viewer who is provided with a series of guided paths. Database documentaries may be built on multiple, overlapping databases. Or they may even consist only of active links that retrieve even external media or content. The possibility for alternative paths, which are user-activated, a far greater fluidity of movement and pacing is possible.
SOURCE: Burdick, A., Drucker, J., Lunenfeld, P., Pressner, T., & Schnapp, J. (2012). Digital Humanities. Cambridge, MA: Massachuetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved from https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/digitalhumanities