Finding Information

Last updated on 05-02-2018

How to Find Publications on govinfo

  • Basic keyword searching (including the use of search operators)
  • Advanced searching where you can select dates and metadata to search in
  • Citation searching for select collections with associated citations
  • Browse an alphabetical list of collections, certain high-profile pieces of content, and additional resources
  • Browse collections grouped in category (for example, Bills and Statutes)
  • Browse publications by the Congressional committee that issued the document (select Committees available)
  • Select a specific timeframe or date range
  • Select a specific government author at the institutional level rather than the personal level (for example, the Treasury Department or the Executive Office of the President)

Learn what publications are available to find on govinfo.

See search tips and sample searches

Learn about the URL structure on govinfo

Get help with a specific collection


Basic Search - Use keywords or search operators

Access search by clicking the search button in the top right corner of any page.

Screenshot of the Basic Search box

Using Basic Search, you can:

Typically, when you use basic search, only the smaller subsections of a document appear in search results. Also when using the basic search, older editions of some publications are hidden because they so numerous that they may make more recent editions harder to find in search results. If you want to see the hidden older editions, click on the check box next to View Historical Results. Learn more about working with search results.


Advanced Search - Specify dates, collection(s), and specific criteria

Access search by clicking the search button in the top right corner of any page.

Screenshot of the Advanced Search box

Using Advanced Search, you can:

  • Specify a Date Range using the dropdown menu. The date options are:
    • All Dates,
    • Date is,
    • Date is after,
    • Date is before, and
    • Date is between.
  • Select the checkbox(es) next to one or more Collections from the Refine by Collection section
  • Under the Search In column add up to five fields (e.g., author, title, keyword) and field values to narrow your search by selecting a metadata field in the dropdown menu and then entering or selecting a value for that field in the next box.

Citation Search - Select collections

Access search by clicking the search button in the top right corner of any page.

Screenshot of the Citation Search box

The following collections are available for citation search:

  • Code of Federal Regulations
  • Congressional Bills
  • Congressional Documents
  • Congressional Record
  • Congressional Record (Bound)
  • Congressional Reports
  • Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents
  • Federal Register
  • Public and Private Laws
  • Public Papers of the Presidents
  • Statutes at Large
  • Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents
  • United States Code

Citation Search will retrieve a single document or portion of a publication in PDF format in a new window, bypassing the search result screen. If your browser is set to prevent pop-ups, a link will be provided.

Examples of how citations are formatted and should be entered are next to the collection names in the dropdown menu.


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