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Citing Government Documents

The purpose of this guide is to provide resources on how to cite government documents.


Government Publications play a pivotal role as authoritative sources of information, encompassing a wide array of materials, including Congressional Reports and Hearings, Public Law, Government Agency and Department Reports, Supreme Court Cases, and more. Understanding how to cite these publications correctly is crucial for maintaining the integrity and credibility of your work!

General Citation Principles

Consult LSU Libraries Citation Research Guide for an overview about Academic Integrity, and further information about why citations matter and guidelines for the specific citation style that you are using.

Before you begin to create your citations for government publications, consider the following citation principles:

  • Consider what style manual is required for your work and adapt to is as necessary. (MLA, Chicago, APA, etc.)
  • Provide enough information to be informative and useful. Give essential bibliographic elements so that other researchers, professors, and librarians can find what you're referring to.
  • Be consist in whatever citation style you decide to adopt. 
  • Be careful in using URLs. URLs are not needed for official documents such as the Federal Register, Congressional Record, congressional reports and documents, and legal cases. If it has been cataloged by the GPO, indexed in a citation database, or is a major government publication, there is no need to tell users the URL you used.

Books Regarding Government Information Citations Available At LSU Libraries

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