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Guide to Citing Government Information

How to Cite U.S. Government Information Sources

Government information sources include acts (laws), hearings, reports, books, court proceedings, statistical  tables, and more—published in any format. The following examples will help you format citations for some  typically used types of government information, but you should consult the style manual of your choice (e.g., APA, Chicago, MLA) for specific instructions. Most of the examples below are excerpted from the following  citation manuals, which are available in Reference and Government Documents.

The Bluebook:  A Uniform System of Citation, 17 th Ed. (2000). Cambridge, MA: The Harvard Law Review Association. KF 245 .U55 (Reference or Government Documents) 

Cheney, D. (2002). The Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources, 3rd edition. Bethesda, MD: Congressional Information Service. Z 7164 .G7 G37 2002 (Reference or Government Documents) 

Legislative Sources

STATUTES AT LARGE - GENERAL FORM

“Title of Law” (Public Law Number, Date of Passage). Title of the Session Laws, Volume, Chapter, Year, Pages  (as appropriate). Source Information. 

Examples:

“Intermodel Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991” (PL 
102­240, Dec. 13, 1991). United States Statutes at Large, 105 
(1991) pp. 1914­2007. 

“Higher Education Amendments of 1992” (PL 102­325, July 23, 1992). 
Text from: Public Laws by Law Number. Available from: Thomas 
(Library of Congress), http://thomas.loc.gov; Accessed: 2/11/02.

U.S. CODE OR U.S. CODE ANNOTATED - GENERAL FORM

“Section Heading,” Title Number Followed by Abbreviated Title of Code Followed by Section Number, Publication  Date, Source Information. 

Examples:

“Vocational Rehabilitation and Other Rehabilitation Services,” 29 
U.S.C.A. 720 (West Supp. 1999). 

“Screening Passengers and Property,” 49 U.S.C. 44901, January 24, 
2002, Available from: GPO Access, http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html;
Accessed 8/28/06.

HEARINGS - GENERAL FORM

Legislative Body. Title of Hearing, Date of Hearing following the word “Hearing,” (Document Number). Place of Publication: Publisher. Source Information. 

Examples - Entire Hearing:

U.S. House, Committee on Energy and Commerce. Disapproving the FTC 
Funeral Rule, Hearing, May 4, 1983 (Serial No. 98­18). Washington: 
Government Printing Office, 1983. 

U.S. Senate, Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Gold 
and Silver Coinage Proposals, Hearing, April 15, 1983 (S. Hrg. 98­113). 
Washington: Government Printing Office, 1983.

Examples - Testimony of a Witness at a Hearing:

Collins, Jeremiah. Statement to the House, Committee on Education 
and the Workforce. Open Shops in the 21 st Century Workplace, Hearing, 
May 3, 2000 (Serial 106­105). Available at: http://commdocs.house.gov
/committees/edu/hedo&i6­106.000/hedo&i6­105.htm; Accessed: 11/15/01. 

Stiller, Bobby L. “Banning Amateur Sports Gambling,” testimony, June 
13, 2000, before the U.S. House, Committee on the Judiciary (Federal 
Document Clearinghouse Congressional Testimony). Text from: Testimony. 
Available on: Lexis Nexis Congressional Universe; Accessed: 11/12/01.

COMMITTEE REPORT - GENERAL FORM

Legislative Body. Title. (Unique Identifying Numbers). Publishing Information. Source Information.

Examples:

U.S. House, Committee on the Judiciary. Shipping Act of 1983 (H. 
Rpt. 98­53, Pt. 2). Washington: Government Printing Office, 1983. 

U.S. House, Committee on the Judiciary. Jacob Wetterling Crimes 
Against Children and Suxaully Violent Offenders Registration 
Improvements Act of 1997 (H. Rpt. 105­256). Text from: Committee 
Reports. Available from: Thomas (Library of Congress), 
http://thomas.loc.gov; Accessed: 2/11/02.

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD - GENERAL FORM

Volume Number followed by Cong. Rec., Page Number(s), (Date) (statement of. . .), Source Information

Examples:

123 Cong. Rec. 17,147 (1977). 

131 Cong. Rec. S11,465­66 (daily ed. Sept. 13, 1985) (statement of Sen. 
Wallop). 

151 Cong. Rec. S1,630­31 (March 2, 2006) (statement of Sen. Leahy), 
Available from: GPO Access, http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html; 
Accessed: 8/29/06.

Book or Monograph

GENERAL FORM:

Issuing Agency. Title: Subtitle (Medium). (Publication/Report Number). Edition statement. By Personal Author. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date of Publication. (Series). (Notes). 

Examples:

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Center for Chronic 
Disease Prevention and Health  Promotion. CDP File (CD­ROM). Atlanta, 
GA: Centers for Disease Control, April 1992. (NCCDPHP CD­ ROM, no. 2). 

U.S. General Accounting Office. Combating Terrorism: Accountability 
Over Medical Supplies Needs Further Improvement. Washington, March 
2001. 

U.S. Library of Congress, The Center for the Book. The History of 
Books: A Guide to Selected Resources in the Library of Congress. By 
Alice D. Schreyer. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1987. 

U.S. Census Bureau. Inorganic Chemicals (MA325): Summary, 2000. Issued 
July 2001. (Current Industrial Reports). Available at 
ftp://ftp.census.gov/pub/industry/1/~mq28a005.pdf; Accessed 12/5/01.

Table in Statistical Source

GENERAL FORM:

“Title of Table,” Table Number, Page Number. In Title of Statistical Source. Publishing Information.

Example:

“Boy Scouts and Girl Scourts—Membership and Units: 1970 to 1989,” 
No. 410, p. 241. In Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1991. 
Washington: Government Printing Office, 1991. 

Supreme Court Case

GENERAL FORM:

Name of First Party v. Name of Second Party, Reporter Volume Number U.S. First Page of Case, Specific Page  Referred to (Date of Decision).

Example:

Meritor Sav. Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57, 60 (1986)

Trina Magi, Bailey/Howe Library, University of Vermont, August 2006