Thursday, April 7, 2011

Free gov pubs online

The press release read: "Through a partnership among GSA, the U.S. Government Printing Office, and Google, 100 of the most popular government publications are now available to download for free online. This partnership will allow for greater access to these documents and contribute to an open and transparent government. As more documents become available online, it will eventually reduce the number of documents that GSA’s Federal Citizen Information Center prints while reducing costs and the environmental impact."

Sounds great! So I decided to check it out at I should note that one can order almost any of the physical items and receive them in one to three weeks, rather than writing to Pueblo, Colorado, like I used to.

First couple categories, Cars and Consumer Action Handbook, each had only one item, but one could click on the link and make a PDF.

But several areas had no such link. Under Small Business was Diversifying Your Workforce, with no link. What to do? Check out the FAQ!

"During this pilot program, we are limiting copies to one per person. However, you can download and print copies of government publications from Google Books ( or order print copies of publications from the Federal Citizen Information Center ( and the Government Printing Office Bookstore (

I tried Google Books first. The export citation choices were BiBTeX (.bibtex), EndNote (.enw), and RefMan (.ris); my computer recognized none of the extensions. At the FCIC/Pueblo site, not only did I find a PDF of the resource, but links to related items. I couldn't find the item at all at the GPO bookstore.

Next I looked for, under Money, the item Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number. Both Google books and FCIC/Pueblo led me to the Social Security page with a PDF link. Again, no luck at the GPO bookstore.

Your experiences may vary.

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