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Helpful Tips

Government publications can be considered books, technical reports, brochures, or websites.  Follow the appropriate example according to the source.  The trick is to figure out what you are looking at.

Helpful Tips:

  • If a person is named on the title or web page, use him or her as the author.  
  • If no person is names, use the agency, department, or branch as a corporate author.
  • If citing a government document found in a library database, just use the name of the database in your retrieval statement.

Government Publications

Technical and research reports often have not been published in the conventional manner.  These documents may be self-published by authors, organizations, or government agencies.  These can be conference proceedings, government reports, committee, company, or technical reports.  It is optional - but often helpful to describe the source in square brackets after the title.

Follow the format used for books as closely as possible:

Author, A.A, (year). Title of work (Report No. XXXX). Publisher. https://xxxxxx

Name of Group. (year). Title of work [Description]. Publisher. https://xxxxx

See section 10.4 in The Publication Manual for more examples.

Type In-Text Reference
Report from government agency or other organization (Oklahoma, 2017)

Oklahoma State Department of Education. (2017). Oklahoma academic standards.

(National Cancer Institute, 2018)

National Cancer Institute. (2018). Facing forward: Life after cancer treatment (NIH Publication No. 18-2424). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.

Report by individual authors at a government agency or other organization (Eller & Olson, 2009)

Eller, A., & Olson, R. (2009). Recycled pavements using foam asphalt in Minnesota (Report No. MN/RC 2009-09). Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Annual report (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 2017)

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (2017). Agency financial report: Fiscal year 2017.


Include a label in square brackets after the title that matches how the presentation was described at the conference.

Type In-Text Citation Reference
Conference session (Sterba et al, 2019)

Sterba, A., Edwards, C., Longo, J. & Flygare, J.A. (2019, November 18). Information literacy for first year students [Conference session]. Oklahoma Association of College and Research Libraries 2019 Annual Conference, Tulsa, OK.

Paper presentation (Maddox, 2016)

Maddox, S. (2016, March 30-April 2). If mama ain't happy, nobody's happy: The effect of parental depression on mood dysregulation in children [Paper presentation]. Southeastern Psychological Association 62nd Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, United States.

Poster Presentation (Edwards & Flygare, 2018) Edwards, C. & Flygare, J. (2018, April 22-24). Bringing the library to you: Onsite reference services [Poster presentation]. Oklahoma Library Association, Tulsa, Ok. United States.