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U.S. Government Information   Tags: government, government_information, us_government  

Guide to information resources by and about the federal government.
Last Updated: Jul 15, 2014 URL: http://ucsd.libguides.com/usgov Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Key Tools to Locate Government Information

Please note that resources tagged with a red lock symbol are available remotely only to UC San Diego affiliates.

  • Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
    Lists and describes federal publications (1976- ) and provides direct links to those that are available online. Search by authoring agency, title, subject, and general keyword. (See next section for indexes to pre-1976 documents.)
  • FDsys
    Presents online versions of major U.S. government publications, such as: the Congressional Record, congressional publications of all kinds, the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, Supreme Court decisions, executive branch documents and more.
  • Google
    You know you're going to use it, so use it efficiently: add site:.gov to your keywords to limit searching to governmental websites.
  • Govspeak: A Guide to U.S. Government Acronyms & Abbreviations
    Lists acronyms and abbreviations commonly used by the United States federal government. Each is defined and links to the home page (or best alternative) of the identified entity.
  • Guide to U.S. Government Publications (Andriot)
    Traces depository publications through agency changes and assigned SuDoc numbers. Entries include title, publication history, ISSN, frequency of distribution, short descriptions, and notes about changes. Provides agency, title, and keyword in title indexes. The "Agency Class Chronology" traces the history of all agencies current or defunct. (Print only.)
  • HeinOnline  Icon
    Offers access to a vast number of publications from all three branches of the federal government. Search across collections from this main page, or click on a collection link to browse titles.
  • MetaLib
    A federated search engine that searches multiple federal government databases, retrieving reports, articles, and citations while linking to selected resources available online.
  • ProQuest Congressional  Icon
    Indexes Congressional materials from 1789-present. Provides access to U.S. legislative information, including bills and pending legislation, legislative history, hearings, testimony, reports, documents, legislative calendars, committee rules of procedure, Congressional Record, CRS Reports, public laws, etc.
  • ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States (2013- )
    Authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic conditions of the United States. This database replaces the previously-free Census Bureau publication (which are available online). It uses many of the same, along with additional, data sources as the earlier editions.
  • Roger: The UC San Diego Library Catalog
    Use our catalog to find hard copy documents in our collection, as well as links to online documents. The advanced keyword search allows limiting to government publications.
  • United States Government Manual
    This official handbook of the federal government describes programs and activities of the legislative, judicial and executive branches. The Manual also includes information about quasi-official agencies, international organizations with U.S. membership, and federal boards, commissions, and committees.
  • U.S. Government Databases
    Subject and alphabetical lists of databases for federal government information - much of which is not findable through a general web search.
  • USA.gov
    Official portal to government information and services provided by the federal government.
  • WorldCat  Icon
    Over 50 million records of material cataloged by libraries. Often includes links to online full-text government publications.

Indexes to pre-1976 Government Publications

Links go the UCSD Library catalog, which provides call number and location information for these print resources.

Collections of Digitized Documents

The vast majority of government publications are now published directly to the web, ensuring widespread availability. However, access to most older government documents remains somewhat limited; these items are generally only available in libraries that are part of the depository program.  Many libraries and other organizations, such as those noted below, are working to increase availability by creating digitized copies of these older documents.

  • Digitization Projects Registry
    Describes and links to independent digitization projects for government documents.
  • Google Books
    Includes government documents, as well as other items. To focus a search to government publications, try adding "Government Printing Office" or "G.P.O." in the publisher field.
  • HathiTrust
    This large-scale digital repository includes many government documents.
  • Internet Archive
    Collection of more than 20,000 digitized government documents.
  • LLMC Digital  Icon
    Collection of legal titles and government documents. Includes the Statutes at Large and US federal, US state, and foreign legislative, executive, and judicial materials.
  • TRAIL: Technical Report Archive and Image Library
    Collection of federal technical reports published pre-1975.
  • University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries
    Access to a large number of digitized documents, arranged in several distinct collections.

Research Help

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Kelly L. Smith
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Government Information / Urban Studies & Planning Librarian
UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr. 0175R
La Jolla, CA 92093-0175
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How to Cite Government Publications


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