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  • Internet Sources for Research Help Guide

    Introduction

    Government documents, including laws, reports and judicial decisions, are among the easiest type of research material to find online. 

    This page lists a few of the places where you can search for these resources.

    Finding Government Resources Through Google

    Domain searching

    Government websites end in the domain name .gov (e.g., the District of Columbia website is https://dc.gov/).

    You can use the domain search feature in Google to search for information on government websites, limiting your search results only to sites that end in .gov. Enter your keywords, then type site:.gov.   

    Examples: 

    water quality site:.gov

    urban agriculture site:.gov

     

    Site searching

    A helpful tool to find state and local government materials is Google's site search, where you search for information within a specific government website. For example, to search for the required qualifications for a District of Columbia mayoral candidate on the DC city website, we could structure a Google search like this: 

    qualifications mayoral candidate site:dc.gov

    Federal Government

    Many federal government publications and documents are available through the individual federal departments and bureaus. Agency websites often provide search capability to find publications and other documentary materials. 

    Here are two especially extensive collections of federal government publications:

    Local Government

    As with federal government publications and documents, most local government materials are available through websites for individual departments. For information on DC government agencies, see the city's Agency Directory