I’m not going to lie, I think this is the hardest type of citation (at least for me). As a result, I rely on a few resources to get me through – I’ve included the links at the bottom of this post. If you’re looking for Stats Can help, they have a great resource on their website.
Government publications follow the same basic pattern as anything else, so try to find the following:
- Issuing agency (and any sub groups listed)
- Title of document
- Personal author (if applicable)
- Agency report number
- Medium (for anything other than print)
- Series (if applicable)
- Place of publication
- Date of publication
- Notes (sometimes needed for web resources – i.e. access date)
If you are citing legislation (i.e. a Bill that has been passed) you will need the Parliament Number and Session Number. This information will come up if you find the Bill online through a government website.
Here are a few citation examples (APA style):
General government docume – online:
- Canada. Library of Parliament. Parliamentary Information and Research Service. (2000). Aboriginal title: The Supreme Court of Canada decision in Delgamuukw v. British Columbia. (BP-459E). Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada. Retrieved from http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/library/PRBpubs/bp459-e.htm.
- Bill C-14: An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (adoption). (2006). 1st reading May 15, 2006, 39th Parliament, 1st Session, 2006-2007. Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada. Retrieved from http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=2334073&Language=e&Mode=1
Here are the resources I use when citing government information:
- Queen’s University Maps, Data, and Government Information Centre Brief Guide to Citing Canadian Government Documents
- Simon Fraser University’s Citing Canadian Government Documents Style Guides (this link goes to APA, but MLA and Chicago also available)
- How to cite information from Statistics Canada (same link as above)
- Western Libraries’ Government Publication Style Guides: Detailed and Brief
- We’re getting a few new print resource soon: The Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources : A Manual for Social Science & Business Research and the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, available in the Brescia Reference section.
- APA has specific examples on how to cite government publications in their style guide, although they’re usually for American government.
When all else fails, send the library staff an email or come visit us at the desk!