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Government Publications: Introduction

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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 - more information is here
  • 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 Michael Shires if you have research questions.  Related information about conducting research in public policy is available here



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.

Subject Librarians can select materials from the Government of Canada Publications, Intergovernmental Organizations, and other sources that are in their disciplines.  Materials from other Canadian provinces and municipalities are collected on a selective basis. The Department of Geography's Map Library has an extensive collection of topographic, cartographic, and geological printed maps published by governments.

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.

Subject Guide

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Michael Shires
Archer Library Building
Treaty 4 Territory and Homeland of the Metis.