Dare To Do Docs


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Dare To Do Docs

  1. 1. Dare to do Documents
  2. 2. What are gov docs? <ul><li>Government Publication means “information matter which is published as an individual document at Government expense, or as required by law.” </li></ul><ul><li>44 U.S.C. 1901 </li></ul>
  3. 3. What kind of information do Governments produce? <ul><li>Bills, laws </li></ul><ul><li>Reports, studies </li></ul><ul><li>Maps </li></ul><ul><li>Statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Data </li></ul>
  4. 4. What kinds of governments? <ul><li>Intergovernmental organizations (e.g. UN) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National/Federal (e.g.USA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>State (e.g. Michigan) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Municipal (e.g. Ann Arbor) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs)? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Looking for gov info…where to start? <ul><li>GPO Access </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.gpoaccess.gov/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>USA.gov </li></ul><ul><li>Google US Government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.google.com/ig/usgov </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mirlyn </li></ul><ul><li>LexisNexis (Congressional, Academic etc.) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Overview of how Government works <ul><li>Ben’s Guide to Government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://bensguide.gpo.gov </li></ul></ul><ul><li>U.S. Government Manual </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.gpoaccess.gov/gmanual/index.html </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Researching Legislation <ul><li>Look for as congressional publications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bills/resolutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Committee hearings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Committee prints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Committee reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Floor debates (Congressional Record) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Resources for researching legislation <ul><li>Thomas (free) </li></ul><ul><li>LexisNexis Congressional (subscription) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Congressional Voting Records <ul><li>Want to measure Maverick-ness (aka party unity)? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>House and Senate Journals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CQ Weekly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CQ Almanac </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CQ Congress Collection Database </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Presidential Signing Statements <ul><li>Presidential signing statements: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www. gpoaccess . gov/wcomp/index .html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Papers of the Presidents (books and online thru DLPS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>whitehouse.gov (recent only) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. How Laws are Published <ul><li>Slip Law (like a pamphlet) </li></ul><ul><li>At the end of each session, slip laws are compiled and bound in Statutes at Large (aka Session Laws) </li></ul><ul><li>Eventually statutes get organized by subject in the U.S. Code. </li></ul>
  12. 12. What’s the difference between Statutes and the US Code? <ul><li>Codification! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Arranging by subject </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Laws are often complex and cover many subjects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Codification breaks up the law and puts a section on education in Title 20 and a section on tax breaks in Title 26 </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. I want a brief report that summarizes federal government policy? <ul><li>Congressional Research Service reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CRS Works exclusively and directly for Members of Congress, their Committees and staff on a confidential, nonpartisan basis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reports written at request of members of congress </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Finding CRS Reports <ul><li>Some are confidential </li></ul><ul><li>Many are not confidential </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CRS does not make them available (in print, electronically…nothing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask your Senator or Representative for a copy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hope that someone else requested the report and put it online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maybe a private publisher is selling it </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Sources for CRS Reports <ul><li>LexisNexis Congressional </li></ul><ul><li>Free Online CRS Report Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://digital.library.unt.edu/govdocs/crs/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.fpc.state.gov/c4763.htm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/crsreports/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.opencrs.com/ </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Looking for old congressional documents? <ul><li>Try the Congressional Serial Set (digitally via LexisNexis Congressional or books in stacks) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Whatever documents congress considered important enough to be reprinted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bound by session of congress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Began with 15th congress (1817) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Documents before 1817 are in American State Papers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Committee reports </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Presidential communications to congress </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Executive agency publications that were submitted to congress (e.g. annual reports) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Researching Legislation <ul><li>Question: “I need to do a legisltive history of the DMCA” </li></ul>
  18. 18. What’s the DMCA? <ul><li>We often refer to laws by nicknames: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patriot Act, Sarbanes-Oxley, Taft-Hartley etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It can be hard to find the law that way </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution--the Popular Names Table (available when you’re searching the Statutes in LexisNexis Congressional) </li></ul>
  19. 19. What’s up with the weird call numbers? <ul><li>We have a few different microfiche collections that have their own systems </li></ul><ul><li>We also keep some print congressional publications in SUDOCS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developed by Adelaide Hasse between 1895-1903 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizes information by issuing agency </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. SUDOCs numbers for hearings <ul><li>Congressional Hearings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Y4 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hearings and Committee prints of some Congressional Committees are numbered as serials within each Congress. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These are designated by Congress and number (separated by the slash) immediately following the colon as: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>House Judiciary Committee Serial 13, 103rd Congress would be: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Y 4.J 89/1:103/13 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the number of the Congress takes the place of the usual numerical series designation. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Statistics <ul><li>Statistical Abstract of the United States (US Census Bureau) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>American Factfinder (US Census Bureau) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http: //factfinder .census. gov/home/saff/main .html?_lang=en </li></ul></ul><ul><li>World Development Indicators (World Bank) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://searchtools.lib.umich.edu/V?func=native-link&resource=UMI01263 </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Elections
  23. 23. Where can I go to research the issues? <ul><li>Vote411.org </li></ul><ul><ul><li>League of Women Voters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Project VoteSmart </li></ul><ul><li>Elections 2008 (Docs Center) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Election Projections <ul><li>FiveThirtyEight </li></ul><ul><li>Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections (note his use of Red and Blue) </li></ul>
  25. 25. Campaign Finance Data <ul><li>Federal Election Commission </li></ul><ul><li>LexisNexis Congressional (access via SearchTools) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Members & Committees </li></ul></ul><ul><li>OpenSecrets </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the Money (money in state politics) </li></ul><ul><li>Oil Change International--Follow the Oil Money </li></ul><ul><li>Campaign Finance Institute </li></ul>
  26. 26. Election Results <ul><li>CQ Voting and Elections Database (access through SearchTools) </li></ul><ul><li>Almanac of American Politics </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Elections Project </li></ul>
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