Government Publications in the Library of Science and Medicine
A GOVERNMENT PUBLICATION or DOCUMENT is any item issued by or under the auspices of a government agency, whether U.S. federal or state governments, foreign national governments, or international organizations.
A DEPOSITORY LIBRARY receives publications from a government agency in exchange for certain services, such as providing the public with access to government information. Alexander Library has been a Federal Depository Library since 1907 and is also a depository for State of New Jersey documents. The Library of Science and Medicine (LSM) shares in these Federal and N.J. State depository arrangements, and has been a depository for U.S. patents and trademarks since 1989. In general, documents which relate to the social sciences and humanities are kept in Alexander Library. Documents which are SCIENTIFIC or TECHNICAL in nature are kept at the Library of Science and Medicine.
Not every item published by the federal government is sent to depository libraries. The Library of Science and Medicine obtains many government publications in other ways-- through subscriptions and other purchases, gifts and mailing lists. Many materials are obtained in microform as well as in paper copy. Also, many federal documents are now available electronically. Visit the Government Printing Office Web page at http://catalog.gpo.gov/F.
The Documents Collection at LSM
Government Documents at the Library of Science and Medicine are located on the 2nd floor. Except for journals, maps, statistical publications, and other heavily used sources, documents do circulate to qualified borrowers. They may be charged out at the Circulation Desk just as books are.
The LSM Documents Collection has OPEN STACKS which users are welcome to search on their own. Some documents may be shelved in DOCREF, on reserve, or may already be charged out. Others may only be available in microform or in electronic format.
HELP in finding a document is available at the main Reference Desk on the first floor.
Access to the Literature
For access to government documents at the Library of Science and Medicine, search IRIS, the online catalog first. If your IRIS search is unsuccessful, consult the LSM government documents card catalog. The catalog is arranged in sections including federal, state, foreign and international documents. See the section below on the "Government Documents Card Catalog" for further information on how to use this catalog.
For access to government documents by subject, use some of the major indexes/abstracts described below:The most well known general source for locating federal government publications is the MONTHLY CATALOG. It is located in the reference stacks at LSM REF Z1223.A18. For current listings, visit the Rutgers University Libraries' home page, click on Find Articles, Indexes and Databases, and use the Catalog of U.S. Publications (Monthly Catalog) on GPO's web page. The Monthly Catalog is the best source for locating publications of executive departments. A black dot next to an entry in the print edition indicates that the publication was sent to depository libraries. Non-depository items (without a black dot) may have been received directly from the issuing agency, but are also available in microprint or microfiche at the Alexander Library or the Library of Science and Medicine, depending on the topic.
GOVERNMENT REPORTS ANNOUNCEMENTS is the best source for identifying technical reports, or reports resulting from research done under contract to federal government agencies. It is located in the reference stacks at LSM REF T1.U4. LSM does not receive all reports listed in this index, but most are available for sale from the National Technical Information Service. See a reference librarian for assistance in using DARTS: Depository Access to Reports, Technical & Scientific. Many technical reports are available for downloading through this joint GPO/NTIS service. For access to the full database (1964+), visit the Rutgers University Libraries' home page, click on Find Articles , Indexes and Databases , and use National Technical Information Service (NTIS).
Documents from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are listed in SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL AEROSPACE REPORTS (STAR). It is located in the reference stacks at LSM REF TL501.U635. For current listings, visit the NASA Scientific and Technical Information web page. Documents in the print edition of STAR are listed by "N" accession number. Those numbers with both an * and a # sign have been sent to GPO depository libraries in microfiche. LSM filed these reports by "N" numbers in its technical reports microfiche until 1992. Another copy of these technical reports, and all current reports, are filed by SuDoc classification number in the government documents microfiche collection.
Department of Energy technical reports are listed in Energy Research Abstracts. It is located in the reference stacks at LSM REF TJ164.E62. Energy Research Abstracts will note which reports have been sent to depository libraries. LSM has been a depository library for DOE reports since 1981, and files these reports by "DE" accession numbers in its technical reports microfiche collection. The collection ceased in 1994. Reports published since then are available through the DOE Information Bridge. For additional DOE reports, visit their office of Scientific & Technical Information at http://www.osti.gov.
To locate journal articles on a specific subject, you may first wish to consult the INDEX TO U.S. GOVERNMENT PERIODICALS. It is located in the reference stacks at LSM REF Z1223.Z9I5. Many government serial titles are only indexed in this publication.
Government Documents Card Catalog
The Documents card catalog is an important resource for locating older documents, but no new cards have been added for recently acquired (2003+) titles. Use the documents card catalog located in the reference area on LSM's first floor, if your search for a particular title in IRIS is unsuccessful.LSM maintains a SEPARATE CARD CATALOG for the documents collection. There is no subject or title access provided in the government publications card catalog. Such access is provided in various indexes, some of which have been mentioned above.
The DOCUMENTS CARD CATALOG is divided into sections, according to the type of government issuing the document:
There are two additional sections of the documents catalog:
To use the documents card catalog:
In the documents card catalog, cards are filed in alphabetic/word order. Acronyms are filed at the beginning of an alphabetic word sequence. For example, under U.S. National Cancer Institute:
Exceptions and special circumstances:
The CLASSIFICATION NUMBER used for government documents is not the same as other library call numbers. The federal government uses a scheme called the Superintendent of Documents system, or SuDocs for short. It is an alpha-numeric sequence, preceded by the shelving location at LSM. Some shelving locations typically used are US, DOCUS, DOCUSM, DOCUSCOM, or DOCUSMAP.
The letters and numbers preceding the decimal point indicate the issuing agency. The numbers following the decimal point, which file as whole numbers, indicate the series or type of publication.
The classification system for state, foreign, and international documents is a modification of the federal scheme. Some state, foreign, and international documents have been reclassified to the call number scheme used throughout the rest of the library (the Library of Congress classification scheme).