Welcome to Government Information

Welcome to Government Information

Gov Info Intro

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 jdownie@csusm.edu. Every effort is being made to respond in a timely fashion.

                    California State Seal


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

YouTube Video About the Federal Depository Program

Verify US Government social media sites (Social Media Registry)

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!)



Gov Info Federal

A collection of sites provided by both federal agencies for popular or frequent-use topics. Where appropriate, non-governmental links are also provided.

  • Census
  • Elections
  • Environment
  • Legislation
  • Maps
  • Statistics

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).

Economic Census
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.

Sample count - all socioeconomic and demographic variables

100% count - basic demographic variables

Sample count - all socioeconomic and demographic variables

100% count - basic demographic variables

Sample count - preliminary document

100% count - state by state release

Election Information

  • 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


  • SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States)
    Dockets, briefs and more for arguments heard before the Supreme Court.
  • Oyez
    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.





Gov Info California

Links to a variety of California State legislative, regulatory and federal links, with an emphasis on supporting research at CSUSM.

California State

Executive Links (Governor's Office)

Main Legislative Links

Help page for locating California Legislative Histories

Main Judicial Links

Sites of Special Interest to CSUSM Researchers

Federal Links Specific to California

Special Interest

San Diego Region

San Diego Region

Gov Info San Diego Region


    City of San Diego
    City departments, job opportunities, crime statistics, etc.

    County of San Diego
    Includes information on county departments, Board of Supervisors, community services, job opportunities, and more.

    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 Registrar of Voters
    Information on registering to vote and past elections. For current information on issues coming before the voters, see Project Vote Smart

    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

    International & NGO

    Gov Info International, Foreign, 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.

    Foreign Governments

    Non-Government Organizations

    • United Nations
      The largest international organization of governments. Search their document system through this portal.
    • Europa
      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)

    Grants & Funding

    Grants & Funding

    Gov Info Grants & Funding





    Education (Students, Schools and Libraries)  




    Natural Resources and Environment


    Women's Issues

    Useful Related Sites

    Useful Related Sites

    Gov Info Non Governmental 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



    Legislative and Legal

    Citing Government Sources

    Citing Government Sources

    Gov Info Citations

    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)

    CSE (sciences)

    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:

    Citation Generator

    DocsCite (Specifically for government documents from University of Arizona, using APA or MLA)