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Cite Government and Legal Documents: Overview

Tips for Citing Gov Docs in Any Style

  • Gov docs can appear in many different forms, like in a book, on a website, or in a database. How you access a gov doc can be important to how it is cited.
  • Frequently, gov docs have a group/corporate author (like the department, committee, or agency) instead of a specific person's name. It is also possible to have a group of authors or no author.
  • For U.S. documents, the Government Printing Office is not the author, but it can be the publisher.
  • For docs from a database (like Proquest Congressional or Hein Online), the database URL is not included. URLs from official government websites like the Government Printing Office (GPO) are acceptable.
  • If using RefWorks citation management, add a gov doc by choosing to add it manually. Then, choose Report as the Ref Type. Refworks is not recommended for court cases - add those to your document manually.

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Megan Heuer