Citing Government Documents

Government documents can be more difficult to cite properly than standard books and journals, due to the specific nature of some of the documents. This is a short bibliography of guides to citation format which are useful for the researcher using government documents.

Resources marked with this symbol are restricted to Columbia affiliates.

  • The Bluebook: a Uniform System of Citation. 16th ed.
    KF 245 .B58 1996g - Lehman Reference The authoritative guide for citing legal materials.
  • Cheney, Debora.
    The Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources: a Manual for Social Science
    & Business Research.

    3rd ed. Bethesda, MD : LexisNexis ; Congressional Information Service, c2002.
    J 9.5 .G37 2002g - Lehman Reference Desk
    The best, most comprehensive guide to citing government documents at all levels -- U.S. federal, state, and local; IGO; and foreign -- and in all formats. Includes extensive coverage of electronic formats (website files, data files, e-mail messages, webcasts, image files, etc.)
  • Citing U.S. Government Publications
    A detailed guide from the Indiana University - Bloomington Libraries, based on the Cheney guide, above.
  • Citing Records in the National Archives of the United States.
    Washington, DC : National Archives and Records Administration, 2007.
    AE 1.113:17/2007 - Offsite
  • DocsCite
    DocsCite is a step-by-step guide to putting government publication citations into proper style format (APA or MLA) using a template; from Arizona State University.
  • Guide to Citing Government Information Sources in a Bibliography (Modern Language Association Style)
    Good basic examples, including an electronic bill via GPO, and a file from a CD-ROM; from the University of Montana.
  • Harnack, Andrew.
    Online!: a Reference Guide to Using Internet Sources.
    New York : St. Martins Press, 2001.
    TK 5105.875 .I57 H364 2001g - Lehman Reference
    The section on "Citation Styles" has examples using APA, Chicago, CBE, and MLA styles, and includes examples of government publications.
  • How to Cite
    An extensive series of pages from ProQuest Congressional, with examples of all types of government documents.
  • Li, Xia.
    Electronic Styles: a Handbook for Citing Electronic Information.
    PN 171 .F56 L5 1996 - Lehman Reference
  • Walker, Janice R.
    The Columbia Guide to Online Style. 2nd ed.
    New York : Columbia University Press, c2006.
    PN 171.F56 W35 2006 - Lehman