Meet govinfo

News February 3, 2016 - Read the Q&A and see What's Available

Thank you for visiting GPO's beta website that will eventually replace the Federal Digital System (FDsys) public website. Being in beta means this site is a work in progress that we are sharing with you to get your feedback.

Using govinfoFinding FDsys ResourcesRelated DocumentsOn Mobile Devices

Overview

What is govinfo and how do I access it?

govinfo is GPO's beta website that will eventually replace the FDsys website. The availability of this new website has no impact on the content, metadata, preservation repository, application of digital signatures, or any other back end processing of the content. This means all content available through this site is the same content you would get through the FDsys website. Simply put, govinfo is the new front door to accessing the same content and it is available at www.govinfo.gov.

Is everything that is available on FDsys available on govinfo?

All content available on FDsys is available on govinfo by conducting searches and clicking the format links in the search results; or by browsing. You can get to any pdf, xml, text or any other content file that is available on FDsys.

What are the differences between FDsys and govinfo?

govinfo is the new front door to accessing the same official, preserved content that GPO has made available through FDsys for the last seven years. The govinfo website will eventually replace the FDsys website, but the new website does not have any impact on GPO's policies, practices, and procedures regarding the long-term digital preservation or authentication of content.

govinfo is a redesign of the FDsys public website, with a focus on implementing feedback from users and improving overall search and access to FDsys content. The redesigned, mobile-friendly website incorporates state-of-the-art innovative technologies and includes several new features for an overall enhanced user experience.

The key new features include:

  • a new modern look and feel,
  • the capability to link related content,
  • two new ways to browse content: alphabetically and by category,
  • a new open-source search engine,
  • enhancements to the search filters, and
  • more options for sharing pages and content on social media.

To learn more about the new features and enhancements govinfo has to offer, refer to Release Notes - govinfo Beta Launch.

When will govinfo replace FDsys?

FDsys will continue to run in parallel with the new govinfo website for a period of time while it is still in beta. During this time, we will be gathering feedback from users, continuing development and design work, and ensuring any unexpected issues with the site are fully resolved.

The transition from FDsys to govinfo will most likely occur in stages:

  • Stage 1: govinfo and FDsys websites are both maintained and updated while users become aware of and get acclimated to the new site.
  • Stage 2: New functionality may only be enabled on govinfo.
  • Stage 3: FDsys is sunset and replaced by govinfo.

These stages will be communicated to users on both sites throughout the transition.

Will my links to pages and search results on FDsys be automatically redirected to govinfo?

While govinfo and FDsys websites are running in parallel, all links to FDsys will continue to resolve to FDsys.

In the final stages before the FDsys website is sunset, redirects to govinfo will be put into place; however, while we will make every effort to redirect links, we recommend that users update FDsys links to the new govinfo site in the event new or enhanced functionality prevents us from automatically redirecting certain links.

How can I provide feedback on govinfo?

Fill out our online survey.

Using govinfo

How do I find information on govinfo?

There are three ways to search for government information on this site, and all can be accessed by clicking on the orange magnifying glass icon in the upper right hand corner from any page on the site.

There are four ways (fifth coming soon) to browse for government information on this site. All can be accessed by clicking on Browse in the menu at the top of any page on the site.

Will there be tutorials or user guides on using the new user interface? How can I get help using govinfo?

GPO plans to offer tutorials and webinars on govinfo when the site is closer to being out of the beta stage. Until then, you can access recorded webinars through the FDLP Academy. To learn more about using govinfo, visit our Help pages.

Can I bookmark links and searches in govinfo?

Yes, you can bookmark pages, searches, search results, and specific sections under the browse hierarchies. Pages, search results, and browse sections can be bookmarked by the URL in the bar at the top of your browser. To bookmark advanced or citation searches, click the Get Bookmarkable Link link in the search box.

Also, wherever you see a SHARE button, you can click Share, then click Favorites for a shortcut to save a bookmark in your browser to the page you're on.

What does the "Share" button do?

When you click on a share button, you will be able to select from a variety of options including email, print, bookmark, add to favorites, and post to a wide range of social media sites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest). The share button is a quick and easy way for a social media post to be pre-filled with relevant information based on the context. For example, if you click on a share button of an individual search result, the title of the publication (along with any citation) plus the link to the content details page will be pre-filled into your post.

You may be asked to sign into your social media accounts before posting – this sign-in is handled outside of GPO – we do not track or have any interaction with your private information.

Can I still use search query operators in the search box?

Yes, learn more about search query operators on our help pages.

Is govinfo 508 compliant?

We are working to ensure that govinfo is available to the widest set of users possible. During the initial site development, we have incorporated elements of both 508 and WAI-ARIA accessibility standards and will continue to conduct testing and evaluations of the site in an effort to improve accessibility for all of our users. Read GPO's Section 508 / Accessibility Policy.

Related Documents Feature

What is the Related Documents feature?

govinfo offers a new feature that makes it easier than ever to track information in documents that exist within the complex network of legislative, regulatory, and judicial publications.

On select Content Details pages for a document, a “Related Documents” tab will display other documents within govinfo that have a functional relationship or reference to that particular document. The purpose of the Related Documents feature is to make it easy for users to navigate to associated content without having to conduct multiple searches or manually go into and read each document’s text.

Which documents are linked together and how do I find them?

Additional relationships between and across documents on govinfo will be implemented on an iterative basis over time. Currently, the following relationships are available:

  • Congressional Bills Details pages- Other bill versions of that legislation; Presidential Signing Statements and Remarks for the legislation from Compilation of Presidential Documents; Public Laws for the legislation; Statutes at Large document for the legislation; U.S. Code documents that reference the legislation
  • Public and Private Laws Details pages- Bill versions of that legislation; Presidential Signing Statements and Remarks for the legislation from the Compilation of Presidential Documents; Public or Private Law for the legislation; the Statutes at Large document for the legislation; U.S. Code documents that reference the legislation Compilation of Presidential Document Details pages- Bill versions for the legislation; Public Laws for the legislation
  • Federal Register- Other Federal Register rulemaking documents related via the same Regulatory ID Number, CFR documents reference by that Federal Register document

Coming Soon- Related Documents for Congressional Hearings, Congressional Reports, and the Congressional Record

If you do not see any documents under Related Documents on a given document’s page, it is possible that:

  • Related documents are not yet in the system for that document,
  • The Related Documents feature has not yet been built for that document or collection, or
  • metadata is not available in the system to support a relationship for that document. It is important not to rely on Related Documents to locate information. If you do not see a document you expect to see, always try additional searches.

Will related documents in other collections be linked together?

GPO has identified numerous relationships that were identified by subject matter experts and stakeholders during the initial requirements gathering stage of FDsys development, approximately 8 years ago. Each collection has a unique set of relationships within or to other collections and documents. The approach is to incorporate individual use cases or groupings of use cases by collection. Implementation of use cases will be on an iterative basis throughout the course of development. Priorities will be established by complexity of implementation, anticipated appeal or popularity, and the overall design and planning roadmap.

Using govinfo on a Mobile Device

How do I access govinfo on my mobile device (smartphone, tablet, etc.); do I have to download an app?

Simply navigate to www.govinfo.gov in the browser on your mobile device. The govinfo site display will automatically resize and shift to be optimized for the screen size on whatever device is being used. govinfo utilizes Responsive Web Design, so there is no need to download an app or use a different URL to access a mobile version. The desktop version and mobile versions are the same, just simply reorganized based on the screen size.

govinfo has been tested on Android using Chrome, while iOS tests have used Safari and Chrome. Additionally, testing has been performed with IE11, Edge, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari on desktop.

Can I access all content and functionality from my mobile device?

The benefit of not using separate mobile and desktop versions of the govinfo site is that, with a few minor exceptions, the same content and functionality is available regardless of the device you are using. We have tailored the experience on smartphones to ensure that the most relevant tasks are available, while removing some which are unlikely to be used by mobile users (such as downloading complete ZIP packages of content). During the beta, we will continue to evaluate how we can improve usability for our mobile users.

Can I download and view files from govinfo on my mobile device?

Yes. Viewing downloaded files may depend on what apps you have installed or native support for formats. For example, if you download a PDF, you will need an app that is capable of opening and displaying PDFs.