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GPO Access: Government Documents Databases

GPO Access is a searchable database with links to government documents online, primarily from the mid-1990s to the present (http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/databases.html). For documents prior to the mid-1990s, try Lexis-Nexis or the Ottenheimer Library Catalog (library1.ualr.edu). Each database listed below can be searched separately or combined.

Types of Databases in GPO Access

Using GPO Access


Congressional Material:

Congressional Bills (1993-forward)

Congressional Calendars (1995-forward)

Congressional Committee Prints (1997-forward, Publications related to committee’s legislative and research activities)

Congressional Directory (1995-forward)

Congressional Documents (1995-forward, Contains selected House, Senate and Treaty Documents)

Congressional Hearings (1997-forward, Selected House and Senate hearings)

Congressional Record (1994 forward, Official record of the proceedings and debates of Congress)

Congressional Record Index (CRI) (1983 forward)

Congressional Reports (1995-forward, House, Senate and Executive Reports)

Constitution of the United States of America Analysis and Interpretation, Deschler's Precedents of the U.S. House of Representatives (1936 forward, Analysis of House of Rep. Precedents)

Economic Indicators (1995 forward, Includes charts and graphs in PDF version)

History of Bills and Resolutions (1983 forward, updated daily, Provides information about all bills and resolutions introduced in Congress)

House Practice (Information on the rules and selected precedents governing the House procedure)

House Rules Manual (Online version contains the revised edition of the Rules and Manual of the House of Representatives for the current session of Congress)

Senate Manual (104th - 1995-1996 and 106th - 1999-2000 Senate Manuals, Contains the standing rules, orders, laws, and resolutions affecting the Senate, as well as copies of historical US documents)

Public Laws Online (A collection of laws enacted from 1995 forward)

United States Code (1994 version and supplements, general and permanent US law code, updated every six years)

Ways & Means Committee Prints (1996-1998)

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Presidential Material:

Public Papers of the Presidents of the US (1993-President Clinton forward online) Presidential speeches, press conference transcripts, addresses and remarks of a public nature. [See research guide on Presidential Papers for complete list of papers and indexes available at UALR and online.]

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (1993 forward) Presidential material released by the White House during the preceding week, published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration.

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Other Government Documents:

The Budget of the United States Government (Fiscal Years 1997 forward)

Campaign Finance Reform Hearing (Transcripts from hearing on November 16, 1995)

Catalog of US Government Publications (CGP, lists and index for publications from all three branches)

Code of Federal Regulations (1996 forward, Codification of general and permanent federal rules)

Commerce Business Daily (December 1996 to January 2, 2002, Lists notices of proposed government procurement, sale and awarded contracts)

Constitution of the United States of America Analysis and Interpretation

Economic Indicators (1995 forward, Includes charts and graphs in PDF version)

Economic Report of the President (1996 forward)

Federal Register (1994 forward, updated daily, Includes Notices, Rules, Proposed Rules, Executive Orders, Presidential Documents, Table of Contents, Preliminary Information, Sunshine Act Meetings, List of the CFR Parts Affected and other Reader Aids)

GAO (General Accounting Office) Reports Online (1994 forward, Findings and recommendations updated daily)

GAO (General Accounting Office) Comptroller General Decisions (1995 forward, Contains payment decisions)

Government Information Locator Service (Searchable database for public information resources throughout the Federal government, describes information available in those sources & provide assistance in obtaining information)

Interior Department - Reports of the Office of the IG (Inspector General)

Privacy Act Issuances, 1995 and 1997 Compilations (Descriptions of Federal agency systems of records maintained on individuals and agencies plus procedures to assist individuals who request information about their records)

Supreme Court Decisions (1937-1975, Finding aid produced by United States Air Force, it is not an official version of the Supreme Court's opinions, which will be found in the United States Reports)

Unified Agenda (Semiannual Regulatory Agenda) (1994 forward, Summarizes pending regulatory actions by Federal agencies)

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Using GPO Access


Log-on through the UALR Ottenheimer Library Website and through "Databases & Research Tools" to "Indexes & Databases" to "GPO Access." The first page of GPO Access at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/databases.html will be "Database List" and a link to "About the Databases," which provides detailed information about the databases and links to helpful hints on how to search them.

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Searching the Database

From the first page "Database List," one can left-click on a specific database to download documents or search within one specific database. One can also left-click on "Search across multiple databases" for another search engine for one or more databases. For searching one database, highlight the database by left-clicking on it. For multiple databases on the Scroll Option Bar, follow these procedures:

Consecutive or Range of Databases (Macintosh and PC): Choose a range of items by choosing the first item and while holding the <SHIFT> key, choosing the last item. All items within this range will be selected.

Non-consecutive databases (Macintosh): To choose non-contiguous items, hold down the <OPTION> key and use the mouse to highlight individual databases.

Nonconsecutive databases (PC): To choose noncontiguous items, hold down the <CTRL> key and use the mouse (left-click) to highlight individual databases.

Beneath the Scroll Option Bar will be a search box, similar to the one pictured below. After highlighting your selected documents, enter a search term(s). Phrases must be in quotation marks " ".  Word roots can be searched using an asterisk * following the word stem. For example: legislat* will retrieve both legislation and legislative. Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, and ADJ) establish logical relationships among concepts expressed in a query (example: weather AND navigation). ADJ establishes a correct order, such as the query lead ADJ paint returns documents that contain the phrase "lead paint" or the word "paint."

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Reading and Saving the Documents

After submitting a search, the database will provide a list of links to related documents. To read, save or print the document, left-click on the file type beneath the document name. "Txt" and "html" files are text files that can be copied and pasted. "Pdf" (Adobe Acrobat) files are usually facsimiles of the original document and are more likely to contain graphics. Remember to cite all of your sources properly and use quotations marks for direct quotes.

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