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Government Publications

Introduction

Government information is available in various formats (hardcopy, microform, online) and much can be accessed in the Library and online.  Government publications are generated by local, provincial, national, and international governments and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs).  Government publications are not like articles in journals and magazines but instead appear in:

  • briefing notes (communication between government managers and their ministers or other senior officials)
  • laws
  • regulations
  • reports
  • statistics
  • surveys

They are primary research sources in many subjects and are often cited in journal articles and books.  Use the research guides linked from the tabs above to identify and locate government publications by jurisdiction.  It can be difficult to find government publications, especially if you are new to working with them.  This guide is a starting point but contact Kaetlyn Phillips if you have research questions. 

Citing Sources

Citing government and related sources, including parliamentary, non parliamentary, and law) require using a specific citation style.  Remember to provide as much information as possible, to assist the reader in locating the source cited and be consistent with the citation style you use.  Below are examples of two common citation style guides.

  • APA Citation Style uses U.S. cases only that are based upon The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation.  Archer Library has the 19th ed. Examples of Canadian cases are listed on pages are 298-303.
  • McGill Citation Style is the standard source for Canadian legal citations including court rulings and orders in council. McGill mentions the Bluebook.

Government Publications at the University of Regina

As of March 2014 the Government of Canada Publications collects and disseminates materials in electronic format only.  More than a thousand freely downloadable publications are added every month. You can find them by searching their publications catalogue or by browsing their weekly acquisitions checklist of federal government publications.

Canada joined the Open Government Partnership in 2011 by supporting the principle that governments will "become sustainably more transparent, more accountable, and more responsive to their own citizens, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of governance, as well as the quality of services that citizens receive."  Canada's Open Government portal links to data sets and digital records.

The Library's Government Publications Collections Policy identifies how materials are acquired.  Collection Development Policies for specific subjects may include statements about relevant government publications in a given field. The Department of Geography's Map Library has an extensive collection of topographic, cartographic, and geological printed maps that have been published by governments.