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Government Information

Learn how to search for government information, statistics, and more information about Muskingum's government documents.

Muskingum Government Documents


Search for government documents in the Muskingum Catalog.

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About Government Information


What is government information?

Information created, received, used, and maintained regardless of physical form, and information prepared for or produced by the government institution and deemed to be under its control in the conduct of its activities or in pursuance of legal obligations 

What is a government document?

A "work of the United States Government," referred to in this document as a U.S. Government work, is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person's official duties.  See 17 USC § 101, Definitions


Where do I find government information?

For U.S. Government Information: There are many locations where government information  resides.  However, a good place to start is the Muskingum University government information LIBGUIDE.  Also, another good location is The Free Government Information Site.   The Free Government Information site is devoted to raising awareness of issues related to government information policy, especially those regarding the easily restricted/malleable/trackable digital realm.

What is a government depository?

Established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government's information, the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) involves the acquisition, format conversion, and distribution of depository materials to libraries throughout the United States and the coordination of Federal depository libraries in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.


The mission of the FDLP is to disseminate information products from all three branches of the Government to about 1,250 libraries nationwide at no cost.

The U.S. Government Printing Office administers the FDLP and serves to provide this network of libraries with the tools they need to keep America informed.


What is a SuDoc Number?

 The classification system, developed by the Superintendent of Documents, used for U.S. government documents. Arranges the collection with materials published by an agency placed together on the shelves.


How do I read a SuDoc?

Here is a quick overview from West Texas A&M University: Source

Can I find government information online?


Yes, both U.S. and State of Ohio government information is available online.  The State Library of Ohio houses versions of most Ohio state government documents (and most of these are available online - ).  You may also search the Muskingum University Catalog to locate various titles.  Here’s an example of how they will appear in the search results:






 OY I 48.15:  




How do I search exclusively for govdocs in the Muskingum Catalog?

From the keyword search page, choose government publication. You can limit government publications to federal, state, or local, or you can choose to see all government publications.


How do I exclude govdocs from a search in the Muskingum Catalog?

The library catalog lists free government publications, known as government documents, or gov docs. You can tell that something is a government publication by looking at the publisher.  Often, it will list the publisher as Congress or G.P.O. (Government Publication Office). Many times, these free government publications will have excellent information on a topic.

There is no way to remove all government documents from search results, but you can reduce them by using the following tips:

 Use not to avoid government publishers.
EX: NOT G.P.O or NOT Congress
Be careful though; this will prevent the search from returning any results with the word G.P.O or Congress, even if it would be relevant.

 Use not to avoid types of documents.
EX: NOT report or NOT hearing


How do I cite government information?

There are several resources that offer examples for citing government information (depending on the citation style you are using.  This guide provides guidelines and links on the Cite tab.