Library Toolbox

Government Information



"Government information by topic and agency,” for federal, state, and local government data. The best place to start looking for a topic if you're not sure which agency/agencies would be involved, because it will bring back results from all of them! Everything else included in this list will generally also be findable via

Data and datasets collected by federal agencies, collected in one place for discovery and use.

Catalog of US Government Publications

"The finding tool for federal publications that includes descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available online.”

GPO Federal Digital System (FDSys)

"Free online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government,” such as laws and bills, hearing documents, federal codes, presidential speeches, and more.

U.S. legislative documents, videos, and data, as well as a directory of current and past Congresspeople.



U.S. Census

Demographic and economic information and datasets collected by the U.S. Census, searchable by topic (education, housing, income level, population, etc.) or geographical area.

American FactFinder

Census data searchable by community.



CIA World Factbook

The World Factbook "provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities”, including maps, with information from a wide variety of government agencies.

US Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets

The history of U.S. involvement with each country, from the State Department.



Department of Energy Data Explorer

"Science, technology, engineering research and data collections from the U.S. Department of Energy.”

National Library of Energy

A "one-stop, easy access to DOE information in four broad topic areas: science and R&D, energy and technology for industry and homeowners, energy market information and analysis; and nuclear security and environmental management."

Integrated Taxonomic Information System

ITIS provides "authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.”

US Geological Survey Natural Hazards Mission

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collects research and data on Coastal & Marine Geology, Earthquake Hazards, Geomagnetism, Global Seismographic Network, Landslide Hazards, and Volcano Hazards.

USGS Publications Warehouse

A collection of "over 100,000 publications written by USGS scientists over the century-plus history of the bureau."

The results of federally funded science research: "200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information including research and development results.”

National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

"Data on research and development, the science and engineering workforce, the condition and progress of STEM education, and U.S. competitiveness in science, engineering, technology, and R&D.”

National Institute of Standards and Technology Data Gateway

Provides access to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST, from the U.S. Department of Commerce) scientific and technical data, searchable by keyword as well as by property (such as density) or substance (such as benzene).



Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks American employment, price index, inflation, and productivity.

Economic Research and Data (Federal Reserve)

"Economists at the Federal Reserve Board conduct innovative research on a broad range of topics in economics and finance. In addition to presenting their research to policymakers, Board economists share their research at academic conferences and publish it in peer-reviewed journals and other scholarly outlets."

Bureau of Economic Analysis

The BEA tracks Gross Domestic Product, consumer spending, international trade and balance of payments.

EDGAR (SEC Filings and Forms)

"All companies, foreign and domestic, are required to file registration statements, periodic reports, and other forms electronically through EDGAR." Publicly traded companies in particular must file annual reports showing their performance, making EDGAR a valuable source of company research.



National Library of Medicine (NIH)

"The world’s largest biomedical library, NLM maintains and makes available a vast print collection and produces electronic information resources on a wide range of topics”; includes databases PubMed, Medline, MeSH, etc.


PubMed is the database where the publications resulting from federally funded biomedical research are deposited. It "comprises more than 24 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites."

National Center for Health Statistics

The National Center for Health Statistics collects statistics compiled through Centers for Disease Control research on health and medical issues in the U.S. and abroad.

Open Access

Open access research is made freely available on the internet for reading and reuse. The degrees of openness vary but at the very least, this information - articles, conference papers, books, datasets, and more - is distributed through publisher websites and repositories without cost. For more on open access, see the library's research guide.

 General Search

BASE Search

The Bielefeld Academic Search Engine, from Bielefeld University Library (Germany), searches though more than 71 million open access documents in more than 3,000 repositories across the globe.

HighWire Search

HighWire aids in "the digital dissemination of more than 3,000 journals, books, reference works, and proceedings," from Stanford University.

ROAD Directory

Directory of OA Scholarly Resources. An international collection of 11,000 OA journals, conference proceedings, and other scholarly works that have been assigned an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) from UNESCO.


The Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe project is an EU-based initiative to collect in one place "the entire Open Access scientific production of the European Research Area." They now provide access to more than 11.5 million publications from almost 6,000 repositories in EU member countries.

Articles & Journals

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

Indexes more than 10,000 journals from 136 countries. Journals in DOAJ are subjected to a rigorous application process to ensure that they maintain standards of peer-review and selectivity.

BioMed Central

250+ and counting open access journals in the fields of biology, biomedicine, and medicine. Owned by Springer Science+Business Media.

E-Print Network (U.S. Department of Energy)

"A gateway to over 35,300 websites and databases worldwide, containing over 5.5 million e-prints in basic and applied sciences, primarily in physics but also including subject areas such as chemistry, biology and life sciences, materials science, nuclear sciences and engineering, energy research, computer and information technologies, and other disciplines of interest to DOE."

PubMed Central

3.3 million articles! "A free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM). ... PMC is a repository for journal literature deposited by participating publishers, as well as for author manuscripts that have been submitted in compliance with the Public Access Policy mandated by NIH and similar policies of other research funding agencies. PMC is not a publisher and does not publish journal articles itself."

 Ebooks & Textbooks

Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)

A service of OAPEN (OA Publishing in European Networks), DOAB is a discovery tool that finds books published elsewhere (as opposed to the OAPEN Library, which are books published with OAPEN). Currently listing more than 3,000 books, DOAB books are both free to read and free to share.

OAPEN (OA Publishing in European Networks) Library

A collection of books published OA in Europe, available worldwide. Includes books published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Palgrave Macmillan, among many others. Books available through the OAPEN Library are free to read but not always free to share.

Digital Public Library of America Bookshelf

The DPLA includes the digitized collections of several large universities and libraries throughout the country. The books here are more in the public domain (passed out of copyright protection) than open access but it is a valuable resource for historical texts.

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Bookshelf

Books and documents from the NCBI (part of the National Institutes of Health).

UMN Open Textbook Library

A collection of open access textbooks, reviewed by professors, from University of Minnesota and a consortium of other institutions.

American Institute of Mathematics Open Textbook Initiative

The American Institute of Mathematics has started an initiative to encourage the use of open textbooks. Here you'll find a list of approved titles and the standards by which books are judged.

 Open Access Repositories

Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR)

ROAR sorts repositories by repository type, country, year founded, institutional association, and software, making it a useful resource not just as a list of repositories but as a way to study trends in repositories overall.

"Open access to 846,172 e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics."

Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

Almost 600,000 abstracts and almost 500,000 full-text papers in social science research.

Research Papers in Economics (RePEc)

An economics-based repository that indexes publisher websites for more than 1.7 million documents in 82 countries. Volunteer-based, independently run.

Computing Research Repository (CoRR)

Through "a partnership of ACM, the e-print archive, and NCSTRL (Networked Computer Science Technical Reference Library)," CoRR is a repository devoted to the rapid dissemination of articles in computing research.



Searching for Patents can be tricky because of language or descriptions used. Keyword searching may not be comprehensive so you may need to try different keywords and databases to search for patents. Two resources we could suggest for in-depth patent search analysis, see: Patent Information Users Group (PIUG)  and Current Challenges in Patent Information Retrieval, ed. by Mihai Lupu, et al.

United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent Full-text Databases

Searches full-text American patents from 1976 to the present and also searches patent applications since March 2001.

The European Patent Office

Espacenet offers free access to more than 70 million patent documents worldwide, containing information about inventions and technical developments from 1836 to today.

Canadian Patents Database

The Canadian Patent Office lets you access 93 years of Canadian patent descriptions and images. You can search, retrieve and study more than 2,130,000 patent documents.


The citation index from Elsevier also searches for web and patent documents. To see these additional results, click Web or Patents in the Go to results line above your search results.

Free Patents Online

A free database not connected to any government, offering international patents as well as other features.

Another patent search not connected to a government, but includes international patents and patent applications.

Patent Lens

A free public resource for patent system navigation worldwide.

Google Patent Search

Google Search specific to patents.

Standards and Codes

IEEE/IEE Electronic Library (IEL)

IEEE/IET Electronic Library (IEL) includes access to the full text of IEEE content published since 1988 with select content published since 1893 from: IEEE journals, transactions, and magazines, including early access documents, conference proceedings,journals, IET conference proceedings, published standards, Standards Dictionary Online.

Knovel Engineering & Scientific Online References

Knovel is a web-based application integrating technical information with analytical and search tools to drive innovation and deliver answers engineers can trust.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Webstore 

ANSI provides a search engine for standards from over 180 standards publishers by keyword or document number Purchase standards online with a major credit card (Visa, MC or Amex), or deposit account Download standards immediately or obtain a multi-user ANSI Site License.Compare various ways that you can obtain the standards you need.

ANSI Standards Portal

Provides answers to the critical standards, conformance, market access, and trade-related questions that companies require to succeed in the U.S. and internationally.

ASTM Standards (Available in hard-copy w/in the library)

ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards.Today, some 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.

IHS Standards Store

IHS offers a broad base of engineering data from research and design to manufacturing and repair.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Online ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards. International Standards give state of the art specifications for products, services, and good practice, helping to make the industry more efficient and effective. Developed through global consensus, they help to break down barriers to international

Thompson Techstreet

Instant access to 500,000+ industry codes and standards from around the world.

New Jersey Building Codes

Look up codes in New Jersey in downloadable PDF format.


Technical Reports

IEEE/IEE Electronic Library (IEL)

IEEE/IET Electronic Library (IEL) includes access to the full text of IEEE content published since 1988 with select content published since 1893 from: IEEE journals, transactions, and magazines, including early access documents, conference proceedings, journals, IET conference proceedings, published standards, Standards Dictionary Online.

Virtual Technical Reports Center, University of Maryland

"The Virtual Technical Reports Center  is a listing of institutions that provide either full-text reports, or searchable extended abstracts of their technical reports on the World Wide Web.  This site contains links to technical reports, preprints, reprints, dissertations, theses, and research reports of all kinds.  Some metasites are  listed by subject categories, as well as by institution.  As of January 1, 2013, this content will be available, but the links will no longer be updated."

NTIS - National Technical Information Service

"The National Technical Information Service serves as the largest central resource for government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business related information available today. For more than 60 years NTIS has assured businesses, universities, and the public timely access to approximately 3 million publications covering over 350 subject areas"


" is a gateway to government science information and research results. Currently in its fifth generation, provides a search of over 55 scientific databases and 200 million pages of science information with just one query, and is a gateway to over 2100 scientific Websites (see fact sheet)."

Science Accelerator

"Science Accelerator is a gateway to science, including R&D results, project descriptions, accomplishments, and more, via resources from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), U.S. Department of Energy. It was developed to advance discovery and to deliver science information. The resources let you explore significant DOE discoveries, learn about DOE Nobel Prize Winners, access and search scientific e-prints, locate science conference papers and proceedings, and more."

TRAIL-Technical Report Archive and Image Library

"The Technical Report Archive & Image Library (TRAIL) is an initiative led by the University of Arizona in collaboration with CRL and other interested agencies to identify, digitize, archive, and provide access to federal technical reports issued prior to 1975. The TRAIL project began under the auspices of the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA).  All GWLA members provided support in the early years of the TRAIL project."

Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC)

The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC®) serves the DoD community as the largest central resource for DoD and government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business related information available today .

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - NEPIS

More than 7,000 in-stock and 24,000 digital titles are available to search and retrieve, download, print and/or order from the EPA's National Service Center for Environmental Publications.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Research Library

The Research Library holds over 3 million unclassified technical reports, in print, microfiche and electronic formats. We are an archival resource for Los Alamos reports, with all formal LA reports since 1943 and many informal LA-URs. Use the databases below, or contact the library by email or phone 667-5809. We have more reports than are shown in the Library Catalog, and access to other resources.

National Transportation Library

Transportation Library (NTL) is a repository of U.S. DOT transportation information, serves as a portal transportation data, and provides library services to U.S. DOT employees. NTL’s mission is to maintain and facilitate access to statistical and other information needed for transportation decision-making at the Federal, State, and local levels and to coordinate with public and private transportation libraries and information providers to improve information sharing among the transportation community.

Fire Research Information Services (FRIS)

The Research Information Service, formerly known as the Fire Research Information Service (FRIS), is located at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) . It is an information resource center and library available to NIST staff, fire protection engineers, scientists, and fire service personnel around the world. The 80,000 document collection represents a vast resource of information on building and fire research related subjects.

International Atomic Energy Agency INIS Database

The International Nuclear Information System (INIS) hosts one of the world's largest collections of published information on the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology. It offers online access to a unique collection of non-conventional literature. INIS is operated by the IAEA in collaboration with over 150 members.