Welcome to Government Information
Due to the COVID-19 situation, all CSUSM Library services including Government Documents access are closed until further notice. A great deal of the resources we have are in electronic format and findable through the library catalog (https://biblio.csusm.edu). For research assistance, please use the chat option available on the library home page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Every effort is being made to respond in a timely fashion.
CSUSM became a selective Federal Documents Depository in California's 50th Congressional District as well as a selective California Documents Depository in 1994.
This site is organized into Federal, California and International resources, as well as popular, high use topics for the CSUSM community, such as grants and citation tools.
The collection is developed and maintained with an emphasis on electronically-delivered materials of use to the CSUSM community. Our collections can be searched using the CSUSM Library Catalog.
Depository materials and related services are available to all users during normal library hours per Title 44 United States Code, "This library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law." Reference assistance is available during librarian reference desk hours via walk-in or phone (760-750-4391). You may also request an appointment using the contact links on the right of this page. You may also reach general library research assistance via chat or email through the ASK A LIBRARIAN links on the library home page.
ASK THE GPO www.gpo.gov/askgpo
TUTORIALS ON GOVINFO www.govinfo.gov/help/tutorials-handouts.
CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/ECFR?page=browse
CSUSM no longer receives print tax forms for Federal or State returns. All forms and instruction booklets can be found online. Depositories are forbidden from offering tax or legal assistance at any time.
Federal Forms: https://www.irs.gov/forms-instructions
California State Forms: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/search/index.aspx
Social Media for Federal and California Governments
News.CA.gov (State of California podcasts collecction)
Mobile Apps Gallery A-Z (wide range of apps for health, safety, business, kids, travel, emergency and much more!)
A collection of sites provided by both federal agencies for popular or frequent-use topics. Where appropriate, non-governmental links are also provided.
Broad Subject Sources
Primarily legislative and judicial sources and still in development, this is meant to be the 'one-stop shop' for government information. Additional and more focused-resources are listed below.
Library of Congress
Includes historical documents, copyright information, reference and interlibrary loan information as well as access to the LC catalog. An important part of this site is American Memory a collection of digitized documents, images and sound files on American history from US government collections.
Explore Census Data
Preset tables with demographic and geographic limiters for quick access to Census data. NOTE: This replaces American Fact Finder and is still under development content is still being added as of May 2020. Additional related census information is included such as the Missouri Census Data Center's Rx: A Cure for the Common Codes page.
Census Briefs and Special Reports
Summaries of some of the more popular topics, drawn from the Diennial Census. Many other topics are covered, here is a sampling of 2010 briefs:
- The Hispanic Population
- The White Population
- The Black Population
- The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Population
- The American Indian and Alaska Native Population
Census Bureau Home Page
Includes the latest census information, publications announcements, searching instructions, and links to electronic census publications.
Census of Agriculture
Now conducted by the Department of Agriculture. Conducted every 5 years (years ending with 2 or 7).
Conducted every 5 years (years ending with 2 or 7.)
Historical Census Tables (selective list)
Information in table or PDF format for the Decennial Census starting with 1790. More tables are being added all the time with the more recent censuses being the most complete. The Historical Census Browser at University of Virginia offers an alternate site with some different ways to manipulate the data for 1790-1960.
1990 CENSUS SUMMARY TAPE FILE 3 (STF3)
Sample count - all socioeconomic and demographic variables
1990 CENSUS SUMMARY TAPE FILE 1 (STF1)
100% count - basic demographic variables
2000 CENSUS SUMMARY FILE 3 (SF3)
Sample count - all socioeconomic and demographic variables
2000 CENSUS SUMMARY FILE 1 (SF1)
100% count - basic demographic variables
2010 CENSUS SUMMARY FILE 3 (SF3)
Sample count - preliminary document
2010 CENSUS SUMMARY FILE 1 (SF1)
100% count - state by state release
- California State Election Information
Information on the California State voting process, registration, district information and more from the California Secretary of State.
- Federal Election Commission
Information on federal-level elections (past and current), financing, calendars, voter registration, and recent election results.
- Smart Voter (from the League of Women Voters, a non-government organization) presenting non-biased information on issues and elections by district.
- Project Vote Smart
(Non-government site) The providers work to furnish non-biased information on all candidates running for, and officials in, public office. This site provides information on their stands on issues, campaign finances, voting records, and more. There is a link to 'interest group ratings' which reflect the biases of the interest groups providing the information.
- Endangered Species Home Page
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's page includes information on threatened and endangered species of plants and animals at the federal and state level.
- National Climatic Data Center
The "Online Document Library" includes monthly climatic data of the world, storm data, and local climatological data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). (NOTE: Access may be limited to educational accounts). Additional weather data is available from NOAA.
- California Earthquake Information
United States Geologic Survey, including historical and "latest earthquake" links.
Law, Legislation and Regulations
- American Memory
Digitized documents, images and sound files, collected by the Library of Congress, including items from the "Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention" and "Century of Lawmaking, 1774-1875" collections.
- GovInfo (used to be FDSYS)
Online catalog to digital and cataloged information. This collection covers mostly late 20th century materials.
Information gathered by the Library of Congress on congressional legislation, committees, appropriations, treaties and more. Dates of coverage vary, but much is available from the mid-1970's in full text.
- Congressional Research Service Reports
Research by staff to inform Congressional membership on a wide variety of issues. This information was not made public until legislation passed in 2018 authorized its release but not all previous content has been loaded. Also includes Appropriations Status Table from 1999-present.
- Historical Legislative Code & Regulations (free access provided by HeinOnline, printing up to 20 pages allowed) See also: Finding Federal Legislative Histories
- SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States)
Dockets, briefs and more for arguments heard before the Supreme Court.
Links and discussion assembled by IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law (non-government group)
- American Memory Map Collection
A growing collection of maps of both historical and current interest from the Library of Congress.
- CIA Maps
Used in the CIA World Factbook, these provide limited images.
- National Atlas.gov
A tool for creating multi-layer maps of geographic and scientific areas for study.
- National Map Viewer
A project by the US Geological Survey, it is still in progress but can provide detailed maps for a variety of uses.
- Perry-Castaneda University of Texas Map Collection
(Non-government site) Over 2,000 map images of current and historical interest. Also includes links to geographical reference sources and other map sites worldwide.
- Bureau of Justice Statistics
A variety of crime and legal system statistics on topics such as drug-related, juvenile justice and prisons.
Provides access to statistical data from over 70 federal agencies and the latest White House press briefings.
- Southern California Socioeconomic Assessment: Sociodemographic Conditions, Projections, and Quality of Life Indices
A collection of statistics from California and Federal sources providing county-level numbers with some analysis (dated June 2003).
- Statistical Abstract of the United States
Compiled from Census data, online versions of the yearly publication are available from colonial times through 2012 . NOTE: 2012 is the last government-issued edition. New editions will be produced by commercial publishers for sale.
Links to a variety of California State legislative, regulatory and federal links, with an emphasis on supporting research at CSUSM.
- State of California Home Page
- Municipal & County Codes and Ordinances in California (FindLaw)
- California's Full Regional Federal Depository is found through the CA State Library--Publications
- California Channel (Press conferences, legislative discussions and more. Online schedule available)
Executive Links (Governor's Office)
Main Legislative Links
Help page for locating California Legislative Histories
- California Legislature audio and television links
- California Channel offers recent and some archived television recordings of legislative activity as a public service of the California Cable Television Industry
- California State Assembly
- California State Senate
Main Judicial Links
Sites of Special Interest to CSUSM Researchers
- California Business Programs
- California Economic Indicators
- California Labor Market Info
- California Energy Commission
- California Climate Change Portal
- California Research Bureau Reports (reports by a variety of non-partisan researchers on California issues to inform the Governor and other officials)
Federal Links Specific to California
- National Archives Pacific Region (located in Riverside area, formerly in Laguna Nigel)
- Census Quickfacts for California (note there are links to County and City level as well as related datasets)
San Diego Region
City of San Diego
City departments, job opportunities, crime statistics, etc.
- Business links to information about doing business in San Diego
- City Council is found under the government link with district map and meetings information
- City Hall includes the Municipal Code and organization chart
County of San Diego
Includes information on county departments, Board of Supervisors, community services, job opportunities, and more.
- SanGIS interactive maps of the county
- Superior Court of San Diego
- Citiy Web Sites (in San Diego County)
- Community Advisory Groups (San Diego County)
2-1-1 San Diego
A social services directory and assistance resource sponsored in part by San Diego County. This includes disaster assistance, energy advice, and many other local resources.
San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)
Local and regional planning information including transportation, economic development, and demographics.
San Diego County Office of Education
Comprehensive source for teachers, parents, and students. Includes information on school districts, test scores, and links to additionals sources of information on area public and private schools.
San Diego Government Document Libraries
Access a wide variety of government-generated resources for free at these libraries.
San Diego Health Archive
Presented by the San Diego Historical Society, this site provides links to a variety of archives government documents and reports on health.
San Diego Source
Commercial source of information on San Diego region.
UCAN (Utility Consumer's Action Network), a watchdog group concerned with San Diego energy, utility and telecommunication issues.
International & NGO
Many nations collect and publish information which can vary in quantity and availability. There can be access barriers due to language issues or technology. The links provided here are for information generated by non-US goverments as well as international and non-governmental such as the International Red Cross and United Nations.
- Africa: Country Pages
From the University of Pennsylvania
- Canada, Government of
The official site for the Canadian government, see also Canadian Parlimentary Publications: A Research Guide
- World Leaders
Assembled by the Central Intelligence Agency and updated monthly, this is a list of who is in what position in foreign governments. Note addresses and contact information are not provided.
A wealth of links to information on the association of 53 nations through the Secretariat for the Commonwealth based in London.
- Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean
Provided by the University of Texas, click on "Countries" in the directory to access a list of nations.
- Country Studies
Electronic version of formerly hard copy texts on developing nations of the world. The information is updated approximately every 12 years by experts at the Library of Congress.
- List of Foreign Governments
Part of Northwest University, this site lists nations of the world with links to the official agencies. Many of these sites will be in a language other than English, but an English-language alternative may be available.
- Governments on the WWW
While not updated frequently, this site is a wealth of information about governmental institutions including parliaments, ministries, courts, and city councils from over 200 countries.
- Mexico, Republic of
The official website for Mexico, only in Spanish. The President of Mexico's site offers an English language version for some information.
- Russian and East European Network Information Center
Provided by the University of Texas.
- World Factbook
From the Central Intelligence Agency, used for a variety of resource topics on each nation.
- United Nations
The largest international organization of governments. Search their document system through this portal.
The search engine for the European Union site. Also see University of California Berkeley's extensive site on the EU.
- International Committee of the Red Cross
Activities, legal information and more from the worldwide humanitarian organization.
- NGO Cafe
An organization of organizations, this site is a means for non-government organizations to share information. The easiest way to navigate the page on your first visit is to open the site map and drill down to see the different categories of information available.
- World Trade Organization
Information on international trade negotiations, agreements, meetings and official business of the organization. Be aware there is a hoax site at http://www.gatt.org/ that uses the WTO website look, for the purpose of protesting the WTO.
Population and Housing Censuses
Includes both Demographic Yearbook and summary reports from the United Nations
World Population Clock (US Census Department)
Social and Legal
- Foreign and International Law Guides (Library of Congress)
- Health (World Health Organization) Discussion of issues and current problems in health around the world
- Human Rights one of several United Nations' sites for the Declaration of Human Rights, statistics and reports.
- Law (Guide to Law Online) Assembled by the Library of Congress to link to sources on government and law throughout the world including multinational, national and US territories.
- Nations of the World Assembled by the Library of Congress, links are provided to constitutions, governing bodies and legal resources.
- World Leaders Maintained by the CIA
Censuses & Statistics (National and Topical)
- FAOSTAT (formerly AquaStat) (Water)
Collected by the Food and Agriculture Organization (United Nations) Statistics Division on water sources and use.
- Key Development Indicators
Collected by the World Bank and includes Country Profiles.
- World Census of Agriculture
Collected by the Food and Agriculture Organization (United Nations) Statistics Division. Although data has been collected every 10 years, beginning with 1980, the available data is for 1990 and 2000
- Statistics Canada (demographics, agriculture and much more)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics
- UK National Statistics Hub
- Statistics Bureau of Japan
- National Bureau of Statistics of China
- Latin America--World Bank and LANIC versions
- World Bank Data Catalog (much more than statistics)
- World FactBook (CIA)
For California and San Diego Region:
- Duncan Hunter, Congressional Representative for California 50th district
- Barbara Boxer, US Senator
- Diane Feinstein, US Senator
California State Legislators
Grants & Funding
From homepage "...your source to FIND and APPLY for federal government grants"
- Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
A wide variety of domestic-related grant and information sites.
Search engine for Federal and State agencies in the United States.
- Small Business Administration Grants
Comprehensive list of federal grant sources for small businesses
- Department of Commerce
Included international and National Institute of Science and Technology opportunities
- Department of Labor and Employment and Training Administration
Grants support training and improvement of America's workforce
- Energy Innovation Grants (California small businesses)
- National Telecommunications and Information Administration
To support communication industries and the public
Education (Students, Schools and Libraries)
- Cal Grants (California)
For California students
- Federal Student Aid
- Apply for a Grant
The Department of Education's (ED) portal site for electronic grants
- Grants & Contracts
Broader scope than the e-grants link.
- Institute for Museums and Library Services
Wide variety of grants for educational purposes
- NASA Grants
- National Endowment for the Humanities
Broad range of topics, but some are specifically for educational programs
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission
For both students and institutions
- Office of Extramural Research (National Institute of Health)
- National Cancer Institute
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Natural Resources and Environment
- Fish and Wildlife Service
Lists a variety of granting agencies involved with FWS concerns
- Environmental Protection Agency (part of grants.gov)
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (part of grants.gov)
- Extramural Research Funding Opportunities (Environmental Research)
- National Human Genome Project
- National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)
Apply for grants to study in our nation's archival, science and other research collections.
- National Library of Medicine
- National Science Foundation
- Presidential Library Grants
Listing of private foundations associated with the Presidential Libraries which provide grants
- Office on Violence Against Women (and other grant opportunties from the Dept of Justice)
Funds grants to provide aid and protection to victims of violence
Useful Related Sites
There are many organizations involved or interested in government activities at all levels. This page lists some sites that may be of use to the researcher.
Elections and Political Campaigns
- Archive of Campaign Promises Snippets of public statements on issues by California candidates, part of the California Voter Foundation
- California Ballot Propositions & Initiatives Database (University of California Hastings College of the Law Library) A database of California propositions since 1911.
- California Map Series (California Voter.org site for various political divisions)
- Political Graveyard (Variety of information on former representatives and senators)
- UCLA Library Online Campaign Literature Archive (featuring California campaigns, but also including national campaigns focusing on California interests)
- California Report (Daily and weekly radio program by KQED carried on public radio)
Legislative and Legal
- FindLaw California (Free database of case law in California since 1934.)
Citing Government Sources
Learning how to cite legal documents and Congressional records is an important aspect of scholarly research and writing. Learn to decipher the elements of information you have in your document to help you cite properly and accurately. Many government publications and websites can be cited using the standard citation style required by your professor or discipline, but make sure the guide you use is the latest edition.
Some databases provide links to citations in a variety of formats. ALWAYS double-check to see that the citation style is the current version as not all citations will be updated.
When deciding between a person and agency as author, it is common practice to cite the agency as authorial responsibility, but always check!
APA Citation Style, 6th edition: Government Publication (George Washington University)
APA Style-Government Report (Trinity College)
Citing Government Information Sources Using MLA (University of Nevada, Reno)
How to Cite Government Information: MLA (Cornell University)
Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide for Government Publications (Bowdoin University)
Name-Year Documentation for government publications (U Wisconsin site)
The Bluebook: a Uniform System of Citation (see CSUSM Research Help Desk)
University of Chicago Law Review Style Sheet (known as the Maroon Book)
Reviews legal citation formats and citing sources commonly found in law research.
Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (Cornell University)
Various Federal government agencies provide help in citing their materials. The formats may NOT be in the most current version of the style manual, so review carefully. Here are some sample sites:
- National Library of Medicine and specific MedLine instructions and Citing Medicine
- National Center for Health Statistics: Print and Electronic
- Citing Records in the National Archives of the United States (how to include repository, series and record numbers in the citation.)
- Library of Congress (Specifically for online sources from American Memory and addresses citing visual media as well as text.)
- U.S. Congressional Documents (Library of Congress, based on the Bluebook and Chicago styles for examples of citing statutes, bills and other Congressional materials.
DocsCite (Specifically for government documents from University of Arizona, using APA or MLA)