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Help: Searching and Browsing the U.S. Government Bookstore

U.S. Government Online Bookstore

The U.S. Government Bookstore allows users to search for and order Government information products currently available from the Information Dissemination area of the U.S. Government Printing Office. Users can also find information about forthcoming material, as well as titles that have been recently superseded or have gone out of print. Available media include printed items, CD-ROMs, diskettes, microfiche, videotapes, and more. The U.S. Government Online Bookstore is updated daily.

There are two ways to search the U.S. Government Bookstore:

Simple Search - The Simple Search will result in a list of all publications available to buy on the Online Bookstore.

  • The Simple Search box is the more general search; this search box appears on the main page of the bookstore as well as at the top of all bookstore pages. Search terms for a simple search can be a subject or phrase, author, editor, organization, title, series, stock number, date/year, or format (such as CD-ROM, diskette, microfiche, poster, videotape, etc.).

Advanced Search - The Advanced Search will result in a list of all publications available to buy as well as publications that have been superseded or have gone out of print on the Online Bookstore.

  • An Advanced Search uses fields that allow the user to make a search more specific by limiting the results to pre-selected elements, such as stock number, title, author, and key phrase. The Advanced Search feature is located on the Searching page.

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Searching the U.S. Government Bookstore

Boolean Operators: Boolean operators are connectors that help to narrow your search. There are three Boolean operators: +(and), OR, and -(not). The default Boolean operator is OR.

+ (and) This tells the Bookstore that all search results must contain the searched words or phrase. To designate an AND operator, the search word or phrase should be preceded by a plus (+) sign.
(For example, to list only publications that contain both the words Education and Department, you would search for: +Education +Department)
OR This tells the Bookstore that search results can contain all words or only individual words in a phrase that were searched. This is the default search mode in the Bookstore.
(For example, a search containing the words Environmental Protection Agency will return results that contain all three words, as well as results that contain only Agency, Environmental, or Protection. Results with all three words will be highest on the list of the results.)
- (not) This tells the Bookstore that all search results must contain one word but not another. To designate a NOT operator, the search word or phrase should be preceded by a minus (-) sign.
(For example, if you only want results that contain the word Education but not the word Department, you would search for: Education -Department.)

Quotation Marks: When searching the U.S. Government Bookstore, exact phrases should be enclosed in quotation marks. For example, if you are searching for a specific title of a publication, you would enclose that title in quotation marks for more precise search results.
(For example, 9/11 Commission Report would be searched as "9/11 Commission Report".)

Truncation: An asterisk (*) can be used to designate a wild card within a word. This wild card will then match any characters. A wild card can appear anywhere in a search word except the first character. Wild cards can not be used inside of a search phrase.
(For example, a search for legislat* will retrieve results with which contain the words legislation, legislature, legislative, etc.)

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Results List

Each search you conduct in the U.S. Government Bookstore will result in a list of publications that are arranged based on how well they match the words you searched. The maximum number publications listed on your results page is 40. If your search results in more than 40 matches, you will find additional pages of results listed at the bottom of the page you are looking at.

For more information on a publication, click on it's title to view a detailed description. To see a sample record that includes definitions for each field, click here.  Only titles with an Add to Cart button are available for purchase. To add a publication to your shopping cart, click the Add to Cart button.

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Browse by Subject

The U.S. Government Bookstore categorizes the more than 6,000 different books, periodicals, posters, pamphlets, and subscription services for sale into approximately 150 broad areas of interest, from accounting and auditing to worker's compensation. Choose a subject from the menu on the right side of the Web site, or go to the Browse Subjects page to view the full list of subjects. Clicking on a subject will open a page with all of the publications available from GPO that fall into that subject category. Add an item to your shopping cart by choosing the Add to Cart icon.

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New Titles by Topic Email Alert Service

This free service allows you to receive convenient and timely Email updates of selected new publications available for sale from the Government Printing Office. Sign up for any or all of the notification lists covering some of our most popular subject areas and receive updates on new titles as soon as they are available for purchase.

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Special Collections

A number of special collections have been compiled for various types of publications available for purchase. These include subject specific publications, CD-ROMs, and subscriptions. Add an item to your shopping cart by choosing the Add to Cart button.

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Last updated: October 23, 2007