Government Documents and Information

Guide to Government Documents and Information

Thompson Library Update

Need assistance with Government Documents or if you have questions concerning Government information please contact Mary Ann Ries ( via email.  Office hours Monday thru Thursday 8 am-4 pm, and Friday afternoons by prior appointment only.

Citing Government Publications

The standard style manuals do not provide examples for citing all the variants of government publications in a consistent fashion. The document itself may not have all the information needed, or it may be presented in a confusing fashion thus making citing difficult. Some government publications include a suggested citation, but overall citing government documents can be tricky.

The following is a good starting point: 

  • Arizona State University Libraries. Government Documents Service – DocsCite. [Archived interactive guide to MLA and APA formatting for government documents using templates and dropdown menus.]

The following sites and publications can also be helpful.

  • ALWD Guide to Legal Citation.  7th Edition.  Association of Legal Writing Directors and Carolyn V. Williams.  New York, New York:  Wolters Kluwer, 2021. Comprehensive guide to legal citation.
  • The Bluebook:  A Uniform System of Citation.  Cambridge, MA:  Harvard Law Review Association, c1991-.  Guide for citing legal materials. 
  • Brief Guide to Citing Government Publications.  The University of Memphis.  University Libraries.  Government Publications.   Online citation guide for government documents.
  • Citations for NCHS Publications and Electronic Media.  (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC) Citation guide for publications of the CDC.
  • Citing Government Documents  Columbia University Library.  U.S. Government Documents.  Bibliography of citation guides.
  • Citing Maps.  Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries.   Archived online citation guide for citing maps.  Some of the links do not work. 
  • Citing Records in the National Archives of the United States.  General Information Leaflet 17.  Revised 2010.   Washington, D.C.:  National Archives and Records Administration, 2010. General information from the National Archives on how to cite their records.
  • Citing Foreign Affairs Records.  (National Archives and Records Administration). Specialized information on how to cite State Department and other foreign affairs records.
  • The Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources:  A Manual for Social Science & Business Research.  3rd Edition.  Debora Cheney.   Bethesda, Maryland:  LexisNexis:  Congressional Information Service, c2002.  A comprehensive guide to citing not only U.S. government documents but also foreign in all formats.
  • Electronic Styles:  A Handbook for Citing Electronic Information.  2nd Edition.  Li, Xia.  Medford, NJ:  Information Today, 1996. Guide to citing electronic information resources.
  • Online!:  a Reference Guide to Using Internet Sources.  Andrew Harnack.  Boston, Massachusetts:  Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003.  Provides examples of citations for government document based on standard style manuals.