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Government Publications

A Guide to Government Documents and Information

Quick Links

Start with these:

See Government Documents and Information:  Finding Government Information - Federal Resources for a complete listing of OSUL's federal government resources. 

Start with these: 

See Government Documents and Information:  Finding Government Information - State Resources for a complete listing of OSUL's state government resources. 

Listed below are some resources to aid in locating international government publications which include documents and information from individual foreign governments, as well as treaty organizations such as the European Union or the United Nations.  

See Government Documents and Information:  Finding Government Information - International Resources for a complete listings of OSU's resources pertaining to foreign governments and international treaty organizations.


Free Tutorials

In the News


File by April 18.

Federal, State, and local tax forms available. 


Law and Order

In the past few months public safety and the police have been prominently in the news.  Katie K. from Georgetown University in her paper The Evolution of Policing in the United States offers a brief history of the evolution of public safety from volunteers in the Colonial Era to today’s professional police departments.


Do not Die!

Recently all too often in the nightly news there have been stories of traffic stops gone horribly wrong.  Any traffic stop is a high stress situation for both the police and you.  Do your part to make an already stressful situation less so. 

To familiarize you as to what to expect, and what is expected of you, several police departments have made short public service announcements on the topic. 

The Abilene police have created a short video about what the general public should and should not do during this stressful situation.  

Tuscaloosa-area law enforcement agencies produced this short video on the topic.

First and foremost be calm, remember the police officer is as stressed as you are.  Each police jurisdiction has slightly different rules on how they want a traffic stop to proceed, but most agree on the following:  1) stop as soon as possible, 2) have your hands in plain sight, 3) make no sudden moves, 4) follow the officer’s instructions, 5) always tell the officer what you are going to do before doing it, 6) if you have a weapon in your car, on your person, etc. let the officer know as soon as possible, and 7) be polite.  If you see a traffic stop in progress, slow down, and if possible move over a lane to give the stopped vehicles maximum clearance.  Do not rubber neck.

By following a few simple rules and tips, you and the officer will have a safe, if not happy traffic stop. 


Be Safety Proactive!

Safety first!  Be alert and focus on your surroundings!  Take steps to protect yourself and your belonging!

The Ohio State University Department of Public Safety has developed a series tips and procedures to help ensure your personal safety and that of your belongings.  By following these tips you can help to make the campus area safer for everyone.   

The University provides a safe ride service upon request to OSU students, faculty and staff who would like safe transportation across campus.  Phone Number 614-292-3322.


For more safety related resources check out Hot Topics

What are Government Publications - Information and Documents

As technology evolves so do government publications. At times it is easier to say what is not then what is a government publication. It is defined in the U.S. Code (44 U.S.C. 1901) as "...informational matter which is published as an individual document at Government expense, or as required by law."  York University has advanced one of the best definitions to date

Publications, regardless of physical form, issued or published by authority of a government body. Specifically: those issued or published by the executive, legislative, and judicial functions of government at all levels - international, national, federal, local government bodies and intergovernmental bodies.

All levels of government from local governments to international treaty organizations, such as the European Union and the United Nations produce government documents and information. In general the larger the entity the more likely it is to publish. These publications range the gambit from primary source materials for scholarly research to informational pamphlets for the general public.

Need Help with Government Documents or Information?

Mary Ries's picture
Mary Ries
Microforms and Government Information
Thompson Library room 211
The Ohio State University
1858 Neil Avenue Mall
Columbus, Ohio 43210-1285
(614) 688-8770

Hot Topics

The following links are to government, academic, consumer-oriented, etc. sites of interest. Here are a few highlights:

  • Surviving an Active Shooter Event.  Video developed by OSU Police with strategies for surviving an active shooter incident, also includes links to other videos on the topic.
  • Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It. (Indiana University. Writing Tutorial Services)
  • Preventing Sexual Assault on Campus. (Best Provides links to reports and resources on the topic of sexual assault and abusive partner relationships, tips on assault prevention, steps to take if assaulted, etc.  
  • Stop Think Connect Resource Guide. (Department of Homeland Security/National Cyber Security Alliance) Links to videos, websites, etc. on cybersecurity topic such as smart phone security, identity theft, file sharing, social networking, etc.

For a complete listing of topics and sites see Government Documents and Information - Hot Topics A- L and/or Hot Topics M-Z. Inclusion in Hot Topics does not mean that OSUL or The Ohio State University endorse the site, or its contents.

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