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Government Resources on the Internet


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Introduction to Government Resources

Documents created, published, and distributed by domestic or foreign government agencies and organizations traditionally fall under the umbrella of "government information." Government information is generally authoritative, openly accessible, and in a continual process of appraisal and revision, particularly in more developed nations such as the United States, where a certain degree of government transparency and accountability before the public is mandated not only by popular demand but by federal law.

Woodward Library participates in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and receives a percentage of all U.S. government publications released by the Government Printing Office (GPO): either in print, microfiche, or electronic formats. APSU's selections have been made in order to support the research needs of the local academic community.

Any citizen may request a guest login to a public computer for the specific purpose of accessing a government website. The guest login may be requested at the Access Assistance Desk

In recent years, the GPO has increasingly focused its efforts on mass digitization projects and other methods of introducing contemporary and historical publications/data to the electronic environment. While this undertaking has made access to government information less dependent on physical collections, it has not and cannot remove all barriers to identification and retrieval. The U.S. government bureaucracy remains highly complex. The online world of government information often mirrors this complexity. Please consult a Woodward librarian if you require any assistance while attempting to locate or properly utilize government resources.

In addition to what you may find by way of Woodward Library's print, microfiche, and electronic collections, a great deal of government information is available free-of-charge online. The resources below represent some of the best available tools for locating texts, statistics, media, and other forms of primary and secondary government information sources from around the globe.

U.S. Federal Government Resources

Basic Collection
The Basic Collection provides access to vital sources of information that support the public's right to know about the workings and essential activities of the Federal Government.

FDsys (Federal Digital System) is the U.S. federal government's official web portal to its publications. FDsys provides free, public access to government information submitted by Congress and the federal agencies. was conceived and developed as an interagency portal to official information and services from the U.S. government. *Use to locate government departments, agencies, bureaus, and their affiliates*

FedStats allows access to the full range of official statistical information produced by the federal government without having to know in advance which federal agency produces which particular statistic. Searching and linking capabilities to more than 100 agencies provide data and trend information on such topics as economic and population trends, crime, education, health care, and more.

The Library of Congress's gateway to federal legislative information, Thomas includes access to Congressional bills and resolutions, the Congressional Record, committee information, and Presidential nominations.

National Archives
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, few are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept forever. Those valuable records are preserved and are available to you here.

Library of Congress Digital Collections and Programs
This resource allows access to print, pictorial, and audio-visual collections and other digital services of the Library of Congress is home to the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation's primary collector and supplier of demographic statistics.

American FactFinder
American FactFinder is a service of the U.S. Census Bureau offering quick access to population, housing, economic, and geographic data.

U.S. Historical Census Browser
Operated by the University of Virginia Library, the site enables users to access, sort, evaluate, and create graphical representations of historical Census data from 1790 through 1960. | | |
Official websites of the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate, White House, and Supreme Court, respectively.

Federal Reserve
The website includes policy reports, banking information and regulation, economic research and data, consumer information, and official publications from the central bank of the United States.

Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED)
FRED offers a wealth of economic data and information to promote economic education and enhance economic research. The database is updated regularly and allows 24/7 access to regional and national financial and economic data.

All companies, foreign and domestic, are required to file registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR, a database maintained by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Anyone can access and download this information for free.

Bureau of Labor Statistics
BLS is the principal federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.

National Technical Information Service
NTIS serves as the largest central resource for government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information available today.

Bureau of Justice Statistics
BJS collects, analyzes, publishes, and disseminates information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government.,

National Center for Education Statistics
NCES is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
This site is the online communication channel for the CDC and provides users with credible, reliable information and statistics on a variety of health-related topics.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics; Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)
TranStats provides extensive and detailed transportation statistics in both public and private sectors.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA is a premier service organization dedicated to providing climatological services to every sector of the United States economy and to users world-wide. It is home to the largest climate archive in the world.

U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library
The Library is designed to provide free viewing and downloading of the entire USGS photographic collection.

U.S. State and Local Government Resources

State and Local Government on the Net
The State and Local Government Internet Directory provides convenient one-stop access to the websites of thousands of state agencies and city and county governments. Indexed both by state and topic.

National Conference of State Legislatures
NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues. The Conference is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of state governments before Congress and federal agencies.

Constitutions, Statutes, and Codes
Maintained by Cornell University's Law School, this resource hosts links leading to a range of valuable political and legal state information sources.

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U.S. International Relations; Global Organization(s) & Publications Resources

U.S. Department of State
The Department's website serves as a portal of information on U.S. foreign policy.

CIA World Factbook [Central Intelligence Agency]
The Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities.

Country Studies [Library of Congress]
Description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world are found in the Country Studies.

Guide to Law Online: Nations of the World [Law Library of Congress]
The Law Library of Congress has assembled an annotated guide to sources of information on government and law as well as selected links to useful and reliable sites for legal information.

International Data Base [U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division]
The IDB offers comprehensive international population/vital statistics, trends, rankings, and more.

United Nations
The UN is an international forum of 192 member states committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.

Statistics Division [United Nations]
The UN Statistics Division compiles and disseminates global statistical information, develops standards and norms for statistical activities, and supports countries' efforts to strengthen national statistical systems.

World Bank
The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world whose mission is to fight poverty with passion and professionalism for lasting results and to help people help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors.

International Monetary Fund
The IMF is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.

Human Development Reports, 1990- [United Nations Development Programme]
These publications address issues of economic, social, political, and cultural advancement at national, regional, and global levels.

Crime Statistics [United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime]
UNODC provides cross-national crime statistics for over 120 countries.

Global Health Observatory (GHO) [World Health Organization]
The Global Health Observatory is WHO's portal to data and analyses of the international health situation.

Country Dossiers [International Bureau of Education]
The Dossiers facilitate access to basic data and a variety of information resources on education for each United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) member country.

International Organizations: Search & Browse [UC-Berkeley]
This resource serves as an excellent starting point for finding information produced by international governmental and non-governmental organizations.