Occasionally the publication itself will offer a suggested citation, usually on the front or back of the title page, or linked from a menu bar in a Web page. When available, this is by far the quickest easiest way to obtain a citation, but some adjustments may be necessary to make the citation match the requirements of your style manual.
Quick Citation Guides
Several libraries have provided selected examples of citations for several types of government information. These examples can be used as models for constructing your own citation.
Cite Source (Trinity College Library)
Provides sample citations for a variety of formats in APA, MLA, Chicago, and other selected styles
APA Citation Style, 6th edition: Government Publication (The George Washington University, Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library)
Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide for Government Documents (Bowdoin College Library)
Provides sample footnotes and bibliographic citations in Chicago style. The examples are based on the 15th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, since the 16th edition doesn’t have as detailed instructions for citing government publications.
How to Cite US Government Documents in MLA, APA Citation Style (Cornell University Libraries)
Provides sample citations, mostly for legal and congressional materials, in APA and MLA styles. When the specific case is not addressed by the pertinent style manual, they provide suggested examples based onThe Bluebookguidelinesadapted to MLA or APA style.
Provides sample citations of legal materials in Bluebook and related styles. Based on a thorough review of the actual citation practices of judges and lawyers, the relevant rules of appellate practice of federal and state courts, and the latest edition of The Bluebook. Includes cross-references to The Bluebook, the ALWD Citation Manual, and state-specific manuals.
Some Archived Quick Citation Guides (May be using outdated styles)
Uncle Sam - Brief Guide to Citing Government Publications (University of Memphis Libraries)
Citing Government Documents – APA - University of Nebraska
Citing Government Documents – MLA – University of Nebraska
Citing Government Documents – Chicago – University of Nebraska
Citing Government Documents – Turabian – University of Nebraska
Obtain a citation by specifying the style desired and entering a title or filling in a blank form. These can be great time-savers, but think of the results as a “rough draft” of your citation. They are only as reliable as the information entered into the record. Be sure to check each citation for typos and other errors, and check for missing elements, such as a series number. Also note that some of these generators only provide a citation in bibliography format, not in footnote format. Consult a reference for how to convert bibliographic entry to a footnote, endnote, or inline citation.
Standalone Citation Generators
These citation generators are available for free on the Internet.
Puts elements in proper order and adds italics, but for the most part you need to understand how to format each element in order to fill in the form. Also only works with APA and MLA styles.
Many online catalogs will create citations based on the information in the bibliographic record. These tend to be more successful with monographs, and not very useful for citing periodicals and legal materials.
Select Cite/Export from the bibliographic record to generate a citation in APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, or Bluebook (which they call Harvard) styles; export results to a bibliographic management program such as RefWorks, EndNote, or EasyBib. Not as useful with periodical articles or legal materials.
UNT Library Catalog http://iii.library.unt.edu/search/X
Select “Cite This” from the left menu bar of the catalog record to generate citations in APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, and Bluebook (which they call “Harvard”) styles. Select “Add to RefWorks” to generate a citation and add it to the RefWorks bibliographic management program.
Bibliographic Management Programs
Bibliographic Management Programs such as RefWorks, Zotero, EndNote, and EasyBib can generate a citation and import it into a bibliography.
Commercial Databases with Citation Services
Some commercial databases that contain government information will generate citations on the fly for the articles or other information being currently viewed.
Citation Quick Guides and Style Manuals: Citing Maps (Western Washington University)
This online guide provide examples in ACMLA style:
ACMLA recommended best practices in citation of cartographic materials (Waterloo University)
Citing Records in the National Archives of the United States (NARA)
How to Cite Digitized Primary Sources (Library of Congress)
Provides structural template and sample citations for APA (6th ed.), MLA (7th ed.), and Chicago (15th ed.) styles.
“Citing Historical Legislative Materials” (American Memory—Library of Congress)
ANSI/NISO Standard Z39.29—2005 (R2010), “Bibliographic References,” National Information Standards Organization, Baltimore, MD, 2010, www.niso.org.
Citing Government Information Sources Using MLA Style(University of Nevada, Reno Library)
Foreign and International Documents
Frequently-Cited Treaties and Other International Instruments
As an aid to law review citation-checking, this guide provides a list of treaties frequently cited in law review articles, along with available sources of hard copy. In addition, wherever possible, the entries are linked to theEISILdatabase of the American Society of International Law. EISILprovides additional citation information, explanatory material, and a link to the text of the treaty.
Li, Xia and Nancy B. Crane. Electronic Styles: a Handbook for Citing Electronic Information. 2nd ed. Medford, N.J.: Information Today, 1996.
Agency Style Manuals
American FactFinder: How do I cite tables and maps in American FactFinder? (U.S. Census Bureau)