Issue 103, MAY 2004

Table of Contents

  1. Interior Web Connections Restored
  2. The Power of Historians
  3. 9/11 Report in the News
  4. US Reverses Journal Embargo
  5. Federal Web Sites Not Sharing Critical Information
  6. President's Daily Brief
  7. U.S. - Canada Task Force Final Report on Blackout of August 2003
  8. Red Tape Hindered Pre-9/11 Efforts
  9. DOCEX Going Out of Business
  10. Public Health Reports Still Distributed to Federal Depository Libraries
  11. Historical Census Statistics Now Available on the Web
  12. Google Bombing: Kerry versus Bush
  13. More Election News: Kerry versus Bush
  14. NASA to Merge Media Archives
  15. House Panel OKs New Dollar Coins Featuring U.S. Presidents
  16. Comments Sought on Documents Relating to
    the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and GPO Sales Program
  17. How Homeland Security Affects Spatial Information
  18. Serial Set Volume Transformed into PBS Documentary
  19. Born Again: Where Government's Unpopular Programs Go to Live
  20. U.S. Budget Deficit Threatens the Nation's Economic Stability
  21. Spring Depository Library Council Meeting Presentations, St. Louis, April 2004
  22. Government Data on Women Disappearing
  23. Strong Filing Season Produces E-File Records for IRS
  24. Great Lakes Interagency Task Force Created May 18
  25. Government Documents in Library Literature
  26. Reporting Fugitive Government Documents
  27. 2.0 Relaunched

(1) Interior Web Connections Restored

A federal appeals court last week allowed the Interior Department to restore Internet connections severed earlier this month in an ongoing dispute over the adequacy of security for Native Americans' electronic financial records.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on March 24 granted an emergency request to reconnect the computers. A district court order forcing employees to work off-line until Interior resolved computer security issues "critically impaired" the department's ability to conduct day-to-day business transactions, Justice Department lawyers filing the request argued.

"In an age in which Internet communication has become as integral as the telephone, the district court has required a cabinet agency to eliminate its electronic connections to the world," the Justice lawyers stated. "No provision of law vests the district court with that authority."

Source: Amelia Gruber, GovExec.Com, March 30, 2004.

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(2) The Power of Historians

A "grainy photograph" of White House chief of staff Adm. William Leahy testifying before a Pearl Harbor investigatory panel in 1945 "rolled off the fax machine at the White House counsel's office last Monday morning, along with a scribbled note that smacked of blackmail," Newsweek reports. "If the White House didn't allow" Rice to testify in public before the Sept. 11 commission, the note from Zelikow read, "This will be all over Washington in 24 hours." The photo, from a Nov. 22, 1945, New York Times story, showed Adm. William D. Leahy, chief of staff to Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, appearing before a special congressional panel investigating the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. "PRESIDENT'S CHIEF OF STAFF TESTIFIES" read the headline over the snapshot of Leahy's very public testimony. The point was clear: the White House could no longer get away with the claim that Rice's appearance would be a profound breach of precedent.

The fax was the work of Philip Zelikow, the commission's executive director, a University of Virginia historian who had been poring over records of the Pearl Harbor inquiries for months. Those probes, Zelikow believes, are the clearest blueprint for the 9/11 panel's work. "This is what happens when you hire historians," joked commission chairman Thomas Kean.

A quick search of Lexis Nexis Congressional using William Leahy and 1945 turns up a couple of hits for those of you desiring to dig deeper into the world of government documents.

Source: Michael Isikoff, Newsweek, April 12, 2004 and cited by Earlybird Headlines, April 5, 2004.

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(3) 9/11 Report in the News

The White House will screen the report of the Sept. 11 commission, formally the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, "line-by-line" before it is released to the public, The Washington Post reports. The review is required by law to remove sensitive intelligence information. "We're not going to let them distort our report ... We do not want to put out a report with heavy redactions in it," commission vice chairman and former Senator Lee Hamilton said. The White House review will not mean that the report is delayed until after the November election commission chairman Thomas Kean said, according to USA Today.

The head of the September 11 commission, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, Thomas Kean, and his Democratic deputy, Lee Hamilton, signalled that their final report this summer would conclude that the attacks could have been prevented, if not for a series of intelligence and law enforcement blunders. They also appeared to endorse the accusation by a former White House counter-terrorism chief, Richard Clarke, that the fledgling Bush administration failed to understand the importance of al-Qa'eda, in part because of a partisan disdain for Clinton-era national security priorities.

Sources: Barbara Slavin, "White House to Check 9/11 Panel's Report 'Line by Line'", USA Today, April 5, 2004, pg 5A. David Rennie, "September 11 Attacks 'Were Preventable'", The Daily Telegraph (London), April 6, 2004, page 12.

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(4) US Reverses Journal Embargo

The United States has decided that a prominent scientific society can edit journal articles submitted by authors in four embargoed countries, reversing a ruling it made last fall that even the most minor corrections of grammar and spelling in those manuscripts were forbidden. But it is unclear how broadly the new policy applies to other American academic publishers whose editing processes may differ from that society's.

In a letter written last Friday (April 2), but only made public on Monday (April 5), the Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said that “style and copy editorial changes” made in accordance with the standard practices of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) in its 100+ journals are exempt from OFAC rules regarding Iran, Cuba, Sudan, and Libya. The letter also reaffirmed that peer review, the way IEEE customarily practices it, is permitted.

Arthur Winston, IEEE's president, said Monday said the ruling was “great. It's wonderful.” Robert Bovenschulte, president of the publications division at the American Chemical Society, agreed. “Our major concerns have now been resolved,” he said.

“This is at least a good first step,” said Samuel Kaplan, a professor at the University of Texas at Houston and chair of the American Society of Microbiology's publications board. However, he added, “we need to get our own specifics with regard to the Treasury Department, and we will be getting in touch with them.”

Other journal publishers found the decision disappointing. Marc Brodsky, executive director and chief executive officer of the American Institute of Physics, said yesterday (April 6), “It is not a clear victory for freedom of the press.” Mark Seeley, counsel for Elsevier and chair of an informal task force of publishers considering suing the Treasury Department, said Monday, “It does not resolve the fundamental issues about US government intervention in scholarly publishing.”

Source: John Dudley Miller, The Scientist Daily News, April 7.

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(5) Federal Web Sites Not Sharing Critical Information

Federal government Web sites do not provide significant information that could aid terrorists who are seeking potential targets in the United States.

The study conducted by RAND, a nonprofit research organization based in Santa Monica, Calif., noted that in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, federal officials have attempted to restrict the availability of sensitive information.

"Of particular concern to U.S. officials are federal sources of geospatial information … useful for identifying various geographical features of U.S. locations and facilities, as well as characterizing their important attributes," the report stated. "Although federal agencies produce and publicly disseminate such information for a wide range of beneficial purposes, the risk also exists that some types of geospatial information could be exploited by terrorists."

For the full story, see article by David McGlinchey, Today, April 5, 2004.

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(6) President's Daily Brief

In "The President's Daily Brief," (National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book # 116; National Security Archives website; 22 March 2004) National Security Archives director Tom Blanton exposes the myth that the CIA-prepared PDB is a sacrosanct document. Blanton argues in an online article that excerpts of several PDBs have in fact entered the public domain, with or without authorization. For the article tap into:

In response to national attention, President Bush eventually decided to declassify the presidential daily brief mentioned before the 9/11 Commission and made it available on April 10th. See Presidential Daily Briefing : Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in U.S., August 6, 2001.

Source: National Coalition for History (NCH) Washington Update, Vol. 10, #13, April 2, 2004; CNN, April 10, 2004.

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(7) U.S. - Canada Task Force Final Report on Blackout of August 2003

August 14, 2003, saw the worst blackout in North American history. Today, August 5, 2004, Spencer Abraham, U.S. Secretary of Energy, and the Honorable R. John Efford, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, released the Final Report of the U.S. -Canada Power System Outage Task Force. This report identifies the causes of the power outage and why the outage was not contained. It also presents comprehensive technical and policy recommendations to prevent or minimize the likelihood of future blackouts, and reduce the scope of those that do occur.

The report is available at and

Source: U.S. DOE News Release, August 5, 2004.

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(8) Red Tape Hindered Pre-9/11 Efforts

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that structural and legal problems prevented federal agencies from gathering and sharing critical information about terrorist threats within the United States before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Rice told the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (popularly known as the 9/11 Commission) investigating the attacks that in the months immediately after President Bush took office his administration was operating on two levels to address terrorism: developing a policy for dealing with Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network, and responding to threat warnings through crisis management. She said most threat information during the summer of 2001 indicated that attacks were going to occur overseas, but federal agencies failed to connect domestic dots showing that an attack inside the United States was being planned.

For full story by Chris Strohm, see GovExec.Com Today, April 9, 2004.

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(9) DOCEX Going Out of Business

For a brief history of DOCEX, see

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(10) Public Health Reports Still Distributed
to Federal Depository Libraries

A recent posting on GOVDOC-L expressed concern about depository library access to the Public Health Reports because of a change in its publisher. Depository libraries will continue to receive this journal through the Federal Depository Library Program.

Publication of the Public Health Reports switched from Oxford University Press to Elsevier, Inc. with Volume 119, number 1 (January/February 2004). The journal is published bimonthly in collaboration with the Association of Schools of Public Health. Distribution of the Public Health Reports to Federal depository libraries will continue as it did under Oxford University Press, since this requirement was incorporated into the contract with Elsevier.

Depository libraries selecting item 0497 will receive the Public Health Reports with the classification HE 20.30:vol./no. The January/February and March/April 2004 issues were distributed on shipping list 2004-0139-P dated April 19, 2004.

Source: Cynthia Etkin, Program Analyst, Information Dissemination (Superintendent of Documents), U.S. Government Printing Office, GOVDOC-L, April 27, 2004.

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(11) Historical Census Statistics Now Available on the Web

The Census Bureau has just announced the online availability of selected historical censuses and Statistical Abstracts.

Historical censuses posted range from 1790-1860 and Statistical Abstracts from 1878-1936 (a few years are not yet available) and from 1953-1958. The 'missing' years of the Statistical Abstracts will be filled in as we complete the work on the files, the historical decennial censuses will be made available as we finish work on each decade.

Please note: these are image files only. There is no searchable text, so users need to use the finding guides available for each volume (e.g. indexes and tables of contents) as the browser and adobe search engines won't work. Also, you need to have Adobe 6 to have the files load properly. Anything less and you get blank pages, or tables of contents that don't let you click around properly.

The files are available from the U.S. Census Bureau home page ( by clicking on the "Publications (PDF)" link on the left side of the page (or the URL: In addition to the current "new" posting on that page, the files are available by clicking on the links for "Statistical Abstracts" and "Census of Population and Housing."

Source: Andrea Sevetson, U.S. Census Bureau, Marketing Services Office, Telephone: 301-763-5207; GOVDOC-L, April 22, 2004.

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(12) Google Bombing: Kerry versus Bush

The next time you access Google, try typing in ""miserable failure". Then do a search with the term "waffles".

Web users entering the words "miserable failure" into the popular search engine may be surprised to discover the biography of the President on the White House website. Or maybe not.

"Waffles" leads you to the John Kerry for President website.

The trick is possible because Google searches more than just the contents of web pages - it also counts how often a site is linked to, and with what words.

Thus, members of an online community can affect the results of Google searches - called "Google bombing" - by linking their sites to a chosen one.

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(13) More Election News: Kerry versus Bush

The popular web page FindLaw provides another comparison between Kerry versus Bush. Check out:

John Kerry's Military Service Records
(Last checked 04/27/04)

George W. Bush's Military Service Records
(Last checked 04/27/04)

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(14) NASA to Merge Media Archives

Space officials want proposals for a NASA archiving system that would create a one-stop multimedia source for the public.

NASA has more than 115,000 film and video titles and millions of still images, and it wants all of them to be publicly accessible online. NASA seeks a contractor to handle digitization, consolidation, and Internet interface of agency analog, video and graphic imagery. The archive is intended to replace NASA's various disconnected, April 27, 2004.

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(15) House Panel OKs New Dollar Coins Featuring U.S. Presidents

A House Financial Services subcommittee approved legislation Wednesday to revitalize the gold dollar coin program by establishing a series of dollar coins that would feature U.S. presidents in the order they served.

Under the measure approved by voice vote by the Domestic and International Monetary Policy Subcommittee, the presidential coin program would start Jan. 1, 2006, with George Washington. The gold coins would resemble the Sacagawea dollar.

"I believe the program is a great opportunity for educating both children and adults about the history of our country," said bill sponsor Rep. Michael Castle, R-Del. "In addition, although it is not the goal of the program, these new coins are likely to generate as much as $5 million for the government."

Full story: Moriah Roberston, Today

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(16) Comments Sought on Documents Relating to the Federal
Depository Library Program (FDLP) and GPO Sales Program

In recent weeks GPO has posted for public comment a number of documents relating to the management of the legacy government documents collections in Federal depository libraries and to the future of the GPO Sales Program. Comments are due by Friday, May 7, 2004.

  1. The draft plan for a Collection of Last Resort (dark archive) is available at:

  2. The discussion draft for the Decision Framework for Evaluating the Assurance of Print Repositories, prepared by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), is available at:

  3. A report on the Meeting of Experts on Digital Preservation, proposing specifications for the project to convert the legacy government documents collection, is available at: An explanatory page with a web form for submitting comments is available at:

  4. A report on the Meeting on the Future of the GPO Sales Program is available at: An explanatory page with a wed form for submitting comments is available at:
Comments on any of these documents can be sent to me by e-mail ( If you comment via e-mail, please provide separate comments for each document, clearly identifying the specific report in the subject line, since your message will have to be routed to staff for action.

Source: Judy Russell, Managing Director, Information Dissemination (Superintendent of Documents), U.S. Government Printing Office, Telephone: 202-512-0571; Fax: 202-512-1434; GOVDOC-L, April 30, 2004.

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(17) How Homeland Security Affects Spatial Information

A librarian serving on the Homeland Security Working Group of the Federal Geographic Data Committee reviews pre- and post-9/11 geospatial data access, details inconsistencies in information availability, and notes measures being taken to get sources of such materials to work in tandem.

The text is available online, but you should see the nice illustration on the cover of the magazine and on the first page of the article. It consists of a milk carton with a missing child insert, except in this case it's missing government information! Source: Article by Linda Zellmer appearing in Computers in Libraries, Vol. 24, No. 4, April 2004.

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(18) Serial Set Volume Turned Into PBS Documentary

A 1930 volume of the U.S. Serial Set inspired a current documentary now showing on PBS. The documentary is Gold Star Mothers: Pilgrimage of Remembrance. It was produced by WILL-TV at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The documentary tells the story of World War I Gold Star Mothers, women who lost sons in World War I, and the U.S. Government-sponsored trips that took them to Europe to visit their sons' graves in the early 1930s. The story is both compelling and timely.

The documentary is currently airing on PBS stations nationwide. The producer's; GOVDOC-L, May 5, 2004.

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(19) Born Again: Where Government's Unpopular Programs
Go to Live

"When officials at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency -- the Pentagon office that helped invent everything from the stealth bomber to the Internet -- launched a "data mining" project to uncover terrorist plots, it was bound to cause consternation. It wasn't just the program's ominous name (Total Information Awareness), menacing logo (an all-seeing Masonic eye), or disreputable director (Iran-Contra conspirator John Poindexter). The proposed system would tap into commercial and government databases across the country, download every bit of personal information stored -- credit card statements, medical records, travel plans, phone bills, grocery receipts -- then scan through it all in search of "suspicious" activity. Designed to catch, say, someone flying from the Middle East to the Midwest and then buying a lot of fertilizer, it might finger a farmer vacationing in Jerusalem as easily as it did a terrorist building a truck bomb. Worse, the planned system would have virtually no oversight, no safeguards, and no privacy guidelines to protect the people being snooped on...."

Last fall, Congress voted to close down the program for good; a House-Senate conference committee declared TIA "terminated." Privacy activists cheered, as did most Democrats and many Republicans. The New York Times announced, simply, "Surveillance Program Ends." Thus resolved, the issue disappeared.

Or did it? This article asserts that the program is alive and well.

Source: Article by Josh Benson, Washington Monthly, April 2004.

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(20) U.S. Budget Deficit Threatens the Nation's Economic Stability

"Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, keeping up pressure on lawmakers and the White House, said the U.S. budget deficit threatens the nation's economic stability."

The Federal Reserve Web site has the text of Greenspan's comments, made via satellite to a conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

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(21) Spring Depository Library Council Meeting Presentations
St. Louis, April 2004

Presentations from the spring Depository Library Council (DLC) meeting in St. Louis (April 18-21, 2004) are now available at:

At the Council meeting, Public Printer Bruce James presented "Keeping America Informed in the 21st Century: A First Look at the GPO Strategic Planning Process." That presentation has been revised based on input received during the discussion at the Council meeting, and the revised remarks are available on this page. You should note that the title has been amended to include the phrase "A Work in Progress" to reflect the fact that the document will continue to evolve as GPO receives comments from its library partners and other stakeholders. There is a specific e-mail address for comments, which is

Also available on this page are my remarks at the beginning of the Council meeting and Ron Indeck's presentation on document security. Dr. Indeck is the director of the Center for Security Technologies at Washington University in St. Louis.

A summary of How to Effect Change on Government Information Issues, by Jan Sanders, Patrice McDermott, and Kennie Gill is now posted on the GODORT Membership Committee web site at

Source: Judy Russell, Superintendendt of Documents, GOVDOC-L, May 5, 2004 and Marilyn Von Seggern, GODORT Membership Committee Chair, Washington State University, GOVDOC-L, May 4, 2004.

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(22) Government Data On Women Disappearing

MISSING: Information About Women's Lives
A 24-page report from the National Council for Research on Women that documents how crucial data on women and girls is disappearing from government web sites and reports. (PDF, 408 KB).

"Last year, people logged onto the Internet 236,942,931 times to ask the United States government for information they need to protect their health, advance their careers, care for and educate their families and communities, and better understand issues that affect their lives. Among those people wer many researchers and advocates who use information from the government to understand trends and shape policy recommendations. Over the last four decades, these researchers and citizens, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, have been able to trust and depend on a vigorous flow of reliable data from federal agencies.

That is no longer true. As a network of 100 women's research, policy, and educational centers, the National Council for Research on Women is publishing this report to spotlight a disturbing pattern of decisions by federal agencies to close down, delay, alter, or spin data about what is happening to American women.

When data and analyses are obscured and/or regular reports withheld, women and girls -- and women's research and policy centers -- are left in the dark. As researchers, we know that clear, accurate data and comparative analyses are crucial to solving problems and achieving equality. Without accurate and timely publication by federal government agencies of unbiased and gender-disaggregated ata -- information that is broken down to show what is happening in the lives of both women and men -- this becomes impossible.

Missing or inaccurage information and politically or ideologically driven science have a cumulative effect on American women and diminish their potential contributions to families, communities, and the economy. Without accurate information, research suffers, women and girls suffer, our society suffers.

This report tells the story of excluded and missing information. But it is also a story of the loss of trust -- trust that the facts posted on government agency websites or published in government documents are accurate and complete, and trust that critical information on health, employment, and violence against women will be easily available. It is about data that are missing, withheld, incomplete, defunded, censored, unjustly challenged, or manipulated. It is about the dissolution of specialized offices, task forces, and committees that focused on women's needs and concerns, and the implication that these needs and concerns are not important to public policy and programs."

Source: Excerpt, p. 2; "U.S. Deletes, Alters Gender Issue Web Data-Report", Reuters online article, April 28, 2004. Deborah Benrubi, Technical Services Librarian, University of San Francisco, GOVDOC-L, April 29, 2004.

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(23) Strong Filing Season Produces E-File Records for IRS

The Internal Revenue Service recorded 60 million e-file returns through April 15, 2004, with home computer usage jumping more than 21 percent. Before the season is over, IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson predicts over half of all individual returns will be processed electronically.”

For more information, see E-Gov Press Release, May 10, 2004.

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(24) Great Lakes Interagency Task Force Created May 18

President Bush signed an Executive Order creating the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force, to be led by EPA. The Task Force brings together the ten Agency and Cabinet officers whose agencies administer more than 140 different federal programs that help fund and implement environmental restoration and management activities in the Great Lakes basin. The President also instructed EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt to engage the Council of Great Lakes Governors and the Great Lakes Cities Initiative to convene a complementary process of regional collaboration. For more information, see Great Lakes Interagency Task Force and Great Lakes.

While you are in the mood, check out the Great Lakes Image Collection and Great Lakes: An Environmental Atlas and Resource Book.

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(25) Government Documents in Library Literature

"One Way or Another: The Electronic Depository"
Peggy Roebuck Jarrett, Documents Librarian for the Gallagher Law Library , describes how the rapidly changing world of government information is impacting her day-to-day work at the University of Washington. Source: LLOPSCited, Vol. 14, Issue 3, Spring 2004.
(Last checked 05/25/04)

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now? Law Libraries and the Federal Depository Program in the Electronic Age
Article by Peggy Roebuck Jarrett and Cheryl Rae Nyberg, Gallegher Law Library, University of Washington, appearing in Law Library Lights, Vol. 45, No. 1, Fall 2001, providing reasons for law libraries to remain in the federal depository library program. While you are visiting this issue of Law Library Lights, notice a number of additional articles about federal documents in the same issue.
(Last checked 05/25/04)

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(26) Reporting Fugitive Government Documents

Have you ever stumbled across fugitive government documents, either Federal of Michigan? Have you reported them so they would be recorded, cataloged, and possibly included in the depository library program? Here are a few reporting forms:

American Association of Law Libraries
Government Documents Special Interest Section
Fugitive and Electronic Only Documents Committee
Report Form
Report form used by documents librarians in law libraries, tends to focus on items related to the law and court system.
(Last checked 05/25/04)
Use this form to notify the Library Programs Service (LPS) of fugitive documents. Fugitives are those documents of public interest or educational value, and not classified for reasons of national security, which have not been acquired for distribution to Federal depository libraries or disseminated through the Catalog of U.S Government Publications (CGP).
(Last checked 05/25/04)

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(27) 2.0 Relaunched

The governmentwide Web portal for science and technology information -- -- has been upgraded.

Also known as the FirstGov for science, was first launched in December 2002 to provide science and technology information from across the government. The new version includes user-friendly enhancements, officials said, and will now search 47 million pages of government research and development information, presenting the results in relevancy-ranked order. allows users to search 30 government databases and 1,700 Web sites. The portal has metasearch capabilities, making massive databases in the Deep Web part of the Internet searchable in a single query.

For more information, see article by Sara Michale, Federal Computer World, May 12, 2004.

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