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Citing Sources: Government Documents

We are transitioning to APA 7th ed. Check with your professor to see which APA edition they require.

Tips

Author

Government Documents often have a group/corporate author listed instead of a specific person's name. The author may be the name of a department, commitee or agency.

When the government department, agency or committee that created the document is also the publisher, omit the publisher element from the reference to avoid repetition. 

Some government reports may have an individual author or authors. In this case, begin the citation with the individual author's surname and initials, and cite the government department or agency as the publisher. 

Titles

Capitalize the first letter of the first word of the title. If there is a colon (:) in the title, also capitalize the first letter of the first word after the colon. 

Capitalize the first letter of proper names in titles, such as names of places or people. Example: Canada

Electronic Government Documents

Many government documents are now published electronically as well as in print. If you found an electronic government document on a website, such as ontario.ca, include the URL in the citation. If you found an electronic government document through the GBC Library website, omit the URL and cite the document the same way you would cite a government document in print. 

Government Document From a Website

Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee. (Year of Publication). Title of document: Subtitle if given (edition or Report No. if given). Publisher Name if different from author. 

Example

Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services. (2016, September 12). Student nutrition program guidelines 2016. http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/documents/studentnutrition/SNP-nutrition-guidelines-2016.pdf

Note: When the government department, agency or committee that created the document is also the publisher, omit the publisher element from the citation to avoid repetition. 

In-Text Paraphrase (Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, 2016)
In-Text Quote

(Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, 2016, p. 8)

Government Document In Print or from a Library Database

Name of Government Department, Agency or Committee. (Year of Publication). Title of document: Subtitle if given (edition or Report No. if given). Publisher Name if different from author. 

Example

Health Council of Canada. (2011). Understanding and improving Aboriginal maternal and child health in Canada: Conversations about promising practices across Canada.

Note: When the government department, agency or committee that created the document is also the publisher, omit the publisher element from the citation to avoid repetition. 

In-Text Paraphrase (Health Council of Canada, 2011)
In-Text Quote

(Health Council of Canada, 2011, p. 4)