Libraries

Government, Legal, Spatial and Data Services Unit

Photo of the Government, Legal, Spatial and Data Services Unit Desk on the fourth floor of the Malpass Library.
Search Gov/Legal Pages
Contact Information:
Online Form

Ask a Question

Phone

(309) 298-2722

Gov/Legal Info desk hours
    • Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm
    • Saturday - Sunday, Closed
Location

Malpass Library (4th level)

For further information, contact:
Chuck Malone
Unit Coordinator
Linda Zellmer
Gov't Information & Data Services Librarian

Starting Points for Researching Government and Legal Information:


Top Six
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
Search the official catalog of government publications.
Congressional Budget Office
Search the CBO website to find reports on how government programs and legislation affect the federal budget.
CQ Researcher Online
CQ Researcher, a privately published periodical, prepares reports on all kinds of controversial topics, often including a history of congressional activity.
Government Accountability Office
The GAO is an important agency that monitors and analyzes government programs for effectiveness, fraud and abuse.
OpenCRS
This site hosts CRS reports which cover an amazing assortment of topics and are written by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. Topics include (but are not limited to) terrorism, intellectual property, cyberlaw, national security, health policy, and environmental policy.
USA.gov
The official search portal for online government information. Also try the Advanced Search.

Search Engines
Google and StartPage
To use these search engines to search for government information, type in the search box "site:gov" and your search terms.
Some examples:
  • site:gov secondhand smoke
  • site:mil naval history

Other Important Sites for Government Information
American State Papers
Search early Congressional documents, 1789-1838.
FDsys
The official portal to online government documents from the Government Printing Office.
Federal Agency Websites
Go directly to the source! Most agencies provide data and reports on their websites. This is a good strategy if you know who does what in government.
FIND-IT! Illinois
Use this gateway to digitized Illinois publications.
Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
This index to U.S. place names can be used to identify the name of the topographic map that shows the feature or location.
Illinois State Agency Websites
Use state agency websites to interact with state government or find statistics or information for business.
LexisNexis Academic
Use this database to find congressional and legal information.
NCJRS
Use this database for law enforcement information and statistics.
U.S. Congressional Serial Set
Use this database for primary source material, such as congressional documents and reports, 1817-1980.
U.S. Congressional Serial Set Maps
This database has reproductions of maps that accompanied congressional reports, 1817-1980.
WestCat
Search the library catalog for government publications held at WIU or across the state of Illinois. Government Publications come in a variety of formats, including web-accessible electronic titles.
WorldCat
Search government publications in the international library catalog for items we may not have here at WIU, then request them through Interlibrary Loan.
Subject Guides

Links to subject guides created by the Gov/Pub staff arranged in alphabetical order:

Legal Research Using LexisNexis Academic

The LexisNexis Academic database provides access to a host of sources which link to each other within the database. For more information, use the following guide to researching legal information in Lexis-Nexis by Chuck Malone, Government and Legal Information Librarian, or ask at the 4th Floor Help Desk.

Legal Resources in LexisNexis:
American Jurisprudence 2d
This legal encyclopedia is a good place to start your research as it links to laws, regulations and cases.
Illinois Jurisprudence
Similar material as above for the state of Illinois.
Federal Court Cases
Includes reported and unreported cases.
Bankruptcy Court Cases
Bankruptcy cases are reported in the Bankruptcy Reporter and are not included in the federal court case search. Access these through by browsing /Cases/United States/Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law.
Military Law Cases
Military cases are not included in the federal court case search. Access these through the Advanced Options button below the Federal and State Cases query field.
U.S. Code Service
The USCS is an annotated version of the U.S. Code - federal statutes organized in a subject arrangement - which means that each section contains links to pertinent law reviews, cases, laws, an legal analysis.
Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations written by federal agencies. Searchable only.
Federal Register
Search for proposed federal agency regulations and final rules.
Law Journals (many hundreds)
Law journal articles are also a great way to start your research on just about any legal topic.
State Court Cases
Law cases from all 50 states.
State Laws (all states)
Search or browse the current state codes.
State Laws Annotated (all states)
Search or browse the current state codes and link to cases interpreting the state laws.
State Administrative Codes (all states)
Search or browse state agency regulations.
State Registers
Proposed and finals rules (regulations). Searchable only.
US Supreme Court Digest, Lawyers' Edition
This is a digest of Supreme Court Opinions by topic.
Treatises and Analytical Material
There are a few things here through the Browse feature.

Get Help

Please contact or visit the Government/Legal Information reference desk for further assistance. We can answer questions, provide instruction in how to access and use resources (both electronic and print), and refer you to other helpful contacts.

Contact Information:
Online Form

Ask a Question

Phone

(309) 298-2722

Gov/Legal Info desk hours:
    • Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm
    • Saturday - Sunday, Closed
Location

Malpass Library (4th level)