The information required to effectively cite a federal government document in a bibliography or works cited list differs slightly from other types of materials. Government works may have personal authors, agency authors, or both. Superintendent of Documents call numbers are useful in citations because they are a universally understood call numbering system. The examples below are taken from The Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources: A Manual for Social Science & Business Research (Ref J9.5 .C44x 2002, at the Reference Desk).
The examples given here can help identify the necessary citation information. This information can be adapted to the format and punctuation of a standard bibliographic citation manual.
Determining author agency and publisher can be tricky. Use Government Printing Office, if it is named anywhere in the document as the printer, publisher, or sales agent. See pages 114-115 in The Complete Guide to Citing Government Information. The "D.C." can be eliminated from "Washington, D.C." as long as there is no possibility of confusion with a different Washington.
U.S. Dept. of Justice. Report to the Deputy Attorney General on the Events at Waco, Texas, February 28 to April 19, 1993. Redacted ed. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1993. (J 1.2:W 11).
U.S. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment. Competing Economies: America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1991. (Y3.T22/2:2 Ec7).
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: DHSS, 2006.
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health can be shortened to:
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Mental Health. The Neuroscience of Mental Health II: A Report on Neuroscience Research: Status and Potential for Mental Health and Mental Illness. (NIH publication, no. 95-4000). Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1995. (HE 20.8102:N 39/995).
U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Education Longitudinal Study of 2002. Washington, D.C., 2009. (2009 ASI microfiche 4826-26).
U.S. Forest Service. Taraghee Lodgepole: A Pioneering Effort in Deadwood Salvage. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1979. (A13.2:T 17).
U.S. Library of Congress. The Center for the Book. The History of Books: A Guide to Selected Resources in the Library of Congress. By Alice D. Schreyer. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1987. (LC1.6/4:H62).
U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Family Structure and Children's Health: United States, 1988. (DHHS Pub. No. PHS 91-1506). Washington: Government Printing Office, 1991. (Vital and Health Statistics Series 10: Data from the National Health Survey No. 178). (HE20.6209:10/178).
Steiner, Richard. "Washington Present: Our Nation's Capitol Today," pp. 54-135. In U.S. Capitol Historical Society. Washington Past and Present. Washington: U.S. Capitol Historical Society, 1983. (Y3.H62/2:8W27).
"Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts--Membership and Units: 1970 to 1989," No 410, p. 241. In Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1991. 111th ed. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1991.
U.S. Department of the Navy. Naval Historical Center. On Course to Desert Storm: The United States Navy and the Persian Gulf. By Michael A. Palmer. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1992. (Contributions to Naval History, No. 5). (D207.10/4:5).
U.S. Bureau of the Census. Poverty in the United States: 1992. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1993. (Current Population Reports; Consumer Income Series P60-185). (C3.186/22:992).
Wallach, John M. "No More!" All Hands 905 (Aug. 1992) pp. 4-9. (D207.17:905).
Greenberg, Martin A., and Ellen C. Wertleib. "The Police and the Elderly (Pt. 2)." FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin 52:9 (Sept. 1983) pp. 1-6. (J1.14/8:52/9).
"Progress and Challenges: Looking at EPA Today," EPA Journal 16:5 (Sept/Oct. 1990) pp. 15-29. (EP1.67:16/5).
Meadows, Michelle. "Why Drugs Get Pulled Off the Markets," FDA Consumer 36:1 (Jan.-Feb. 2002) (3669 words). Available from: Academic OneFile; Accessed 10/1/10.
"Not in My Spoon!" Sci4Kids, Last updated 9/1/2010. Available from: U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service, http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/kids/ProtectOurPlanet/HealthySoil/SoilMicrobesHome.html; Accessed 10/1/10.
"Measles, Rubella, and Congenital Rubella Syndrome – United States and Mexico, 1997–1999," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 49:46 (Nov. 24, 2000) pp. 1048-1059. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/index2000.htm; Accessed 8/1/10.
It is not necessary to include the name of the issuing agency for well-known or standard reference sources, such as the Government Manual, Statistical Abstract of the United States, U.S. Reports, and the Congressional Directory.
Economic Report of the President February 1992. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1992.
Include the format for audio or video tapes, audiovisual materials, film strips, maps, microfilm, microfiche, and slides:
U.S. Department of the Interior. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation. National Urban Recreation Study: Dallas Fort Worth (microfiche). Washington: Government Printing Office, 1977. (I66.24:D16).
U.S. Census of Retail Trade, 1992, Geographic Area Series Delaware (RC92-A-8). Washington: Government Printing Office, 1994. (C3.255/2:RC 92-A-8).
U.S. Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Population and Housing Characteristics Delaware (CPH-1-9). Washington: Government Printing Office, 1991. (C3.223/18:CPH-1-9).
U.S. Senate. Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Gold and Silver Coinage Proposals Hearing, 15 Apr. 1983 (S.Hrg. 98-113). (microfiche). Washington: Government Printing Office, 1983. (Y4.B22/3:S.Hrg. 98-113).
U.S. Senate. History of the Committee on Finance (S.Doc.95-27). Washington: Government Printing Office, 1977. (1977 CIS microfiche S 360-1).
Park, Robert L. "The Muzzling of American Science," pp. 609-614. In U.S. House. Committee on Government Operations. Computer Security Act of 1987 Hearing 25, 26 Feb. and 17 Mar. 1987. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1987. (Y4.G74/7:C43/29).