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December 2017 Release Notes

Release Notes
govinfo is out of beta

The primary activities from this last development cycle related to reaching this next phase of the transition from FDsys to govinfo. Other activities included implementation of several security measures for managing web content, completion of a software upgrade of a key interface component of the content management system, migration of help content from FDsys, and a focus on minor fixes and enhancements to site display, search functionality, and developer tools.

Next Step in the Transition from FDsys to govinfo

We're excited to share that govinfo is now out of beta! While the predecessor site, FDsys, will remain available during this phase, we are one step closer to its retirement (planned for late 2018).

At this time, users and stakeholders should now begin updating links and processes to reference govinfo instead of FDsys.

Learn more about the transition from FDsys to govinfo including a handy chart on finding certain FDsys resources where they've been migrated on govinfo.

Attention Data Users: Please explore the govinfo developer tools available for your use (sitemaps, link service, etc.) If you have questions regarding the transition or the use of govinfo developer tools for updating processes, please contact GPO or open an issue on GPO's GitHub page.

When will govinfo replace FDsys? FDsys will continue to operate for a time so site and data users can update links, bookmarks, and any processes to point to govinfo instead of FDsys.

Stages of the transition:

  • Stage 1: govinfo is in beta and FDsys remains available. (This is done.)
  • Stage 2: govinfo is out of the beta phase (This is where we are now.)
  • Stage 3: FDsys is retired and replaced by govinfo (By the end of 2018.)

Is everything that is available on FDsys available on govinfo? All content available on FDsys is available through govinfo. You can get to any PDF, XML, text or any other content file that is available on FDsys. Also, all Browse and Content Details pages available on FDsys have equivalent pages on govinfo. Looking for an FDsys resource on govinfo?

Will my links to FDsys break? While both FDsys and govinfo are operational, your links to FDsys will continue to resolve to FDsys. GPO recommends updating bookmarks and links to reference govinfo instead of FDsys.

After FDsys is retired, links to FDsys will redirect from FDsys to govinfo into the foreseeable future. We want to ensure the same level of access you enjoy with FDsys and will do our best to support one-to-one redirects wherever possible. However, as a precaution, we recommend that you update your links to point to govinfo so that your current processes are maintained indefinitely. Improvements to govinfo URLs have made them restful, predictable, and more user-friendly.

Migration of Help Content

The migration of help content from FDsys to govinfo is complete! Explore the govinfo help pages for help finding publications, learning what's available, sample searches, metadata fields for each collection, tutorials, handouts, and more. Help content has been migrated to the govinfo look and feel, reorganized, and updated.

FDsys help and govinfo help side by side

FDsys help (left) and govinfo help (right)

Fixes and Enhancements

*Please note that certain fixes and enhancements require content to be re-processed or re-published for the updates to take effect. This will be completed over a period of time. Content made available after these fixes and enhancements have been implemented will reflect the updates.

Site Display

  • Fixed display of summary metadata on details pages for a several collections including the Congressional Record (missing votes field), Public and Private Laws (missing statute and U.S. Code citations fields), Statutes at Large (missing and duplicate presidential proclamations fields), and Congressional Reports (error in Associated Legislation field).
  • Fixed more than ten anomalies and bugs in browse, details pages, document in context, and related documents across various collections.
  • Resolved minor accessibility issues with hover text.
  • Made minor design updates to select browse pages.
  • Resolved issue with social sharing functionality requiring multiple clicks.
  • Resolved several issues with MODS metadata files. Learn about the metadata available on govinfo and how you can search MODS files.


  • Fixed minor isolated issues with advanced search and a search result navigator.
  • Tweaked search engine to improve relevancy by having more recently published documents display higher in results for certain searches. For example, a search over all editions of the Government Manual results in the most recent edition displaying first.
  • Made several parser updates including to the standard references parsed from most collections. (What are parsers?)
  • Fixed issue with full-text indexing of certain PDF files.
  • Implemented fix for the regular consistency check.

There are several monitoring and reporting mechanisms in place to validate content integrity and provenance (the chain of custody and all events within that chain) including consistency and integrity checks.

Consistency checks are performed regularly and ensure the number of documents in the repository, served to the public site, and in the search indexes match. This procedure ensures that all content is consistently traced and discoverable.

File fixity is validated through regular integrity checks of all files within the standards-compliant preservation repository. This process ensures that content is not corrupted, that no unauthorized changes were made, and that the bit-level object content has been preserved intact.

Learn more about govinfo digital preservation and authentication practices.

Developer Tools

New! Link service for constitutional authority statements in the Congressional Record. Create links to the PDF (default), HTML, Details page, Document in Context tab, or Related Documents tab using this pattern: /link/crec/cas/{congress}/{billtype}/{billnum}

For example, this url: takes you to the PDF of the constitutional authority statement in the Congressional Record for H.R. 2331 in 115th Congress.

Try the govinfo link service, available for 13 collections, or learn more.

New Content Highlights

Take a look at these content additions since our last release.

American Flag

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Enrolled bill and related documents

Digitized FR 1970

Digitized Federal Register, 1970-1979

Made available November 29, 2017

Page from the Digitized Bound Congressional Record 1873

GPO Completes Digitization of the Historical Congressional Record

Final release for the period 1873-1890

Feature Article Highlights

Since our release in September, we posted 13 feature articles; here are a couple of our favorites.

70 Years Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 2017 Human Rights Day logo

Human Rights Day 2017

Celebrated December 10th each year, commemorates the anniversary of when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed

America Recycles Day logo and date

America Recycles Day 2017

November 8, 2017 – America Recycles Day, celebrated annually on November 15th is a National Initiative of "Keep America Beautiful"

Congressional Data Challenge; Source:

Congressional Data Challenge

Enter at by April 2, 2018

Coming Soon

Some things we're working on next.

  • Linking for select documents that are serials
  • Support for users transitioning from FDsys to govinfo
  • Link service enhancements
  • Backend work to support transition from FDsys to govinfo