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US Government Documents Fundamentals

A guide to basic information about finding, evaluating, and using government documents for assignments, research, and your own information.

SuDoc Classification System--agency prefixes

At WSU Libraries the SuDoc (Superintendent of Documents) Classification System is used for the tangible collection (print, microfiche, DVD, etc.) in Holland and Terrell Libraries and the Owen Science and Engineering Library.  Other campus libraries have a small number of federal documents, classified in the Library of Congress system. 

In the SuDoc system, publications are grouped together by issuing agency. These two example shows how a classification number is constructed:

  • Title:  Occupational Outlook Handbook    SuDoc Number:   L 2.3/4:2006-07

           L   Labor Dept. (issuing agency)    2.   Bureau of Labor Statistics (subordinate bureau within the agency)     3/4:  no. designating the title     2006-07   year

  • Title:  International Energy Outlook with projections to...      SuDoc Number:  E 3.11/20-3:1999

           E  Energy Dept. (issuing agency)   3.  Energy Information Admin. (subordinate bureau within the agency)  11/20-3:  no. designating title     1999  year


Other agency prefixes


A  Agriculture Department   

J  Justice Department

C  Commerce Department  

JU Judiciary

D Defense Department  

L Labor Department

E Energy Department

LC Library of Congress  

ED  Education Department  

NAS  National Aeronautics and Space Administration 

EP  Environmental Protection Agency 

PR  President of the United States

GA  General Accountability Office

PREX  Executive Office of the President

GS  General Services Administration 

S  State Department

HE  Health and Human Services Department 

SI  Smithsonian Institution

HS  Homeland Security

T   Treasury

I Interior Department

X, Y   Congress

SuDoc Filing Basics

A SuDocs Classification tutorial created by Michigan State University Libraries explains important filing rules and provides a chance to test your expertise.

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