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Government Documents: Searching for Gov Docs

Includes links and information regarding Government Documents sites and sources.

Specialized Searches

One way to research government information is to go to the website of an agency that deals in some way, shape or form with an aspect of the topic you are researching.  This is the very broadest of subject searching, and as you can see from the variety of websites described below, the U.S. government casts a wide net.

Legislative (Congress)

   U.S. House of Representatives

   U.S. Senate

Judicial (Supreme Court)

American FactFinder is your source for population, housing, economic and geographic data from Census 2000, the 1990 Decennial Census, the 1997 and 2002 Economic Censuses, American Community Survey (1996 - 2002) and Population Estimates Program (July 1, 2000 - July 1, 2002).

ADA Home Page Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities ActADA standards, enforcement, tax incentives, and code certification. provides regularly updated information about federally and privately supported clinical research in human volunteers, including information about a trial's purpose, who may participate, locations, and phone numbers for more details.

Congressional Budget Office. CBO’s mandate is to provide the Congress with objective, nonpartisan, and timely analyses to aid in economic and budgetary decisions on the wide array of programs covered by the federal budget and the information and estimates required for the Congressional budget process.

Consumer Product Safety Commission includes recalls, reports, alerts and product safety standards for thousands of types of consumer products.

EDGAR, the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system, performs automated collection, validation, indexing, acceptance, and forwarding of submissions by companies and others who are required by law to file forms with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Its primary purpose is to increase the efficiency and fairness of the securities market for the benefit of investors, corporations, and the economy by accelerating the receipt, acceptance, dissemination, and analysis of time-sensitive corporate information filed with the agency.

FedStats. Official statistical information available to the public from the federal government. Includes economic and population trends, education, health care costs, aviation safety, foreign trade, energy use, and farm production. Includes official statistics collected and published by more than 100 federal agencies.

Government Accountability Office. GAO is known as "the investigative arm of Congress" and "the congressional watchdog." GAO supports the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and helps improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people.  

Office of Management & Budget. OMB's predominant mission is to assist the President in overseeing the preparation of the federal budget and to supervise its administration in Executive Branch agencies. searches over 40 databases and over 2000 selected websites, offering 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information, including research and development results.

Need more information?  Need a specific government publication? What are you researching? Unfair labor practices? Government and public health? The Space Program? United States relations with Cuba? What kind of information do you need? Statistics? A hearing about pornography? A staff report on federal assistance to 9/11 victims? The text of a particular law? The regulations governing medical marijuana? The U.S. Federal Government has information you can use. Use the tools in the next box for more search options. 

Searching Primor for U.S. Government Publications

Primo: Best source for the location, SuDoc number and format of U.S government publications held at ACTC and other KCTCS schools.

Any keyword or subject search in Voyager will pull U.S. Federal government publications into the search results if there are such publications on the topic.  However, if you want to narrow your results to U.S. Federal government publications alone, use the following search strategy:

Within the ADVANCE SEARCH - In the first box, enter the following terms: gpo mvi dgpo and change the drop box to the right of the first box to any of these; then use the other two boxes to put in your search terms.

Google Government Websites Search

Using the Google Custom Search bar, restricts results to those results with a .gov web address.


General Research

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) is the finding tool for electronic and print publications from the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the U.S. government. These publications make up the National Bibliography of U.S. Government Publications. The CGP contains descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available on-line. It is updated daily. The catalog will grow to include records for publications dating back to the late 1800s, making the CGP the central point for locating new and historical Government publications. Official information and services from the U.S. government.

Government Web Resources - Resources organized by Government agency. (Created and hosted by the Library of Congress)


Subject Guide