Government websites and government organizations are valuable sources of information, and information you find on these sites can serve as a research guide as you work through the research process and narrow your topic. Federal, state and local governments all maintain websites, many of which are flush with useful information on a variety of topics. For example, different types of federal information obtained from government websites might include the following types of information:
With so many subjects covered in the comprehensive and too-exhaustive-to-include-here list of government sites, government websites provide you with information that helps guide your research.
The U.S. government is an exceptional source of information for several reasons:
Government websites and information are accessed differently depending on both the format and the location. Some government documentation is only available in non-electronic form in physical libraries. However, there are two government websites that serve as powerful portals to an abundance of information:
USA.gov—This website is the information hub for all government agency publications, and it is organized by subject. On this site, you can search in several ways:
GPO Access (gpoaccess.gov)—This is the Government Printing Office’s website. As such, it is the publisher of all governmental information put together by any federal agency. There are several aspects of GPO Access that make your searches and guiding your research easier:
A few additional government websites that might prove useful in guiding your research include:
While government websites and organizations are useful tools for finding a treasure trove of information, keep in mind that statistics and related information usually lags several years behind the actual studies or collection of data. If you have not already explored government websites to help focus your research paper topic and guide your research, now is a great time to start.