Government Resources

Agencies within the U. S. Government publish more than just statistics; they publish scholarly works as well as works for the general public. Some may be secondary resources, but the majority are considered primary. [Review the Information BASICS module for a review of these information characteristics.]

In the past several years, the federal government has made a concerted effort to publish materials online, instead of print. Thus, for the most current information you may need to look online.

For more information on searching and using Government Publications, select "Find Government Information" on the Library's Web site.

Types of U. S. Government publications include:

Reports (e.g., The Surgeon General’s Report on Underage Drinking, 2007, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

Pamphlets (e.g., Asbestos In Your Home, 1990, Environmental Protection Agency) (pamphlets are usually considered popular sources)

Maps (e.g., Topographic and Color-Coded Contour Maps of Mars, 2003, US Geological Survey)

Journals (e.g., English Teaching Forum, Department of State)

Newsletters (e.g., Closing the Gap: A Newsletter of the Office of Minority Health) (usually considered popular sources)

Directories (e.g., Congressional Directory, U.S. Congress)

Handbooks (e.g., Occupational Outlook Handbook, Department of Labor)

Laws (e.g., US Code and Legislative Histories)

Regulations (e.g., Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations)

Congressional hearings and reports (e.g., The promotion and advancement of women in sports : hearing before the Committee on Commerce…)

State government information is similar to the federal government, and much of it can be found online. Select "Find Government Information" on the Library's Web site for selected state sources.

Keep in mind that although nearly all governments publish information about their countries, foreign government information may be hard to find. Intergovernmental organizations (such as United Nations, World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, OECD) are usually good sources to consult.

Copyright 2010-2013 Old Dominion University -- Old Dominion University Libraries, updated September 2013