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Meet govinfo, GPO’s Next Generation of Access to Federal Government Information

The following is a guest post by Christine McMahon and Amanda Colvin, Office of Programs, Strategy, and Technology, Government Publishing Office.  

GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks unveils the new name and logo for the next generation FDsys website at the govinfo launch event on February 3, 2016.

GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks unveils the new name and logo for the next generation FDsys website at the govinfo launch event on February 3, 2016. Photo by the Government Publishing Office. 

On February 3, 2016, the Government Publishing Office launched www.govinfo.gov, a beta website that will eventually replace the Federal Digital System (FDsys) public website. FDsys, and now govinfo, provide free public access to hundreds of thousands of official publications from all three branches of government. govinfo is a modern, mobile-friendly website, with a focus on soliciting feedback from users and improving overall search and access to content. Read our Q&A below to learn more.

Is everything that is available on FDsys available on govinfo?

Right now, all content available on FDsys is available on govinfo by conducting searches and clicking the format links in the search results. You can get to any PDF, XML, text or any other content file that is available on FDsys.

However, not all browse pages or detail pages have been built yet for every collection. For a list of all collections and publications and how they are currently available, refer to our list of What’s Available.

govinfo team at the GPO govinfo launch: Lisa LaPlant, Ric Davis, Suresh Raman, Ramesh Pinjala, Joann Sharp, Pradeep Jutur, Alexey Fegeding, Lotfi Mehai, GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks, Denis Dobrovolskii, Lauren Rouppas, Jon Quandt, Amanda Colvin, and Christine McMahon (not pictured: Jing Xie and Alan Zhang).

govinfo team at the GPO govinfo launch: Lisa LaPlant, Ric Davis, Suresh Raman, Ramesh Pinjala, Joann Sharp, Pradeep Jutur, Alexey Fegeding, Lotfi Mehai, GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks, Denis Dobrovolskii, Lauren Rouppas, Jon Quandt, Amanda Colvin, and Christine McMahon (not pictured: Alec Bradley, Jay Silverman, Jing Xie, and Alan Zhang). Photo by the Government Publishing Office.

The new govinfo website automatically resizes and shifts for an optimized display on a range of mobile devices.

The new govinfo website automatically resizes and shifts for an optimized display on a range of mobile devices. Photo by the Government Publishing Office.

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 new website has no impact on the content, metadata, preservation repository, application of digital signatures, or any other back-end processing.

govinfo offers the same features users enjoy on FDsys such as multiple ways to search and browse content and search result filters, but govinfo offers several new and improved features including:

  • Responsive design for optimized display on mobile devices;
  • Two new ways to browse – alphabetically and by category;
  • A new, open-source search engine;
  • An expandable and collapsible search widget on every page;
  • More options for sharing pages and content on social media; and
  • An innovative “Related Documents” feature (see below for details).

What is the Related Documents feature?

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. 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; and
  • Federal Register Details pages–Other Federal Register rulemaking documents related via the same Regulatory ID Number, CFR documents referenced by that Federal Register document.
GPO Chief Technology Officer Ric Davis remarks on the history of electronic access to Federal government information at GPO at the govinfo launch event on February 3, 2016.

GPO Chief Technology Officer Ric Davis remarks on the history of electronic access to Federal government information at GPO at the govinfo launch event on February 3, 2016. Photo by the Government Publishing Office.

It’s important to note that you may not see any documents under the “Related Documents” tab. This could occur for several reasons: if in fact there are no related documents 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.

Where can I learn more about govinfo and provide feedback?

Visit www.govinfo.gov to check out the new site, and learn more about the new features and what’s available. You can also review our Help pages for a wealth of information on searching and browsing for content. We will continue to optimize the site design and features based on your feedback; so, leave us a note by clicking “Feedback” in the top menu anywhere on the site.

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