HOT DOC: Government Shutdown Impacts Research

  The government shutdown continues to impact research capabilities, among other things. In addition to Census websites, the Library of Congress has the following notice on their page: “Due to the temporary shutdown of the federal government, the Library of Congress is closed to the public and researchers beginning October 1, 2013 until further notice. All public events are cancelled and web sites are inaccessible except the legislative information sites THOMAS.gov and beta.congress.gov.”

ERIC Documents are among the resources affected.  If you try to access full-text articles using ERIC@Ebscohost that links to eric.ed.gov, you will get an error message after a quick screen flash that says “Due to the lapse in funding, ERIC documents are not available until further notice…” You will need to request ILL for these materials until the shutdown is over. Ask a librarian at 478-5032 for assistance if needed.

Environmental Protection Agency: The easiest way to tell if an agency’s website is impacted (and whether it is down completely, or simply not being updated) is to try to access it, such as “epa.gov“. When you arrive at most agency websites, however, you will see a notice like this one at the EPA: “The federal government is currently shut down. The EPA website and social media channels will not be updated until the federal government reopens.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is another site that is available but not updated: “This website is currently not being updated due to the suspension of Federal government services. The last update to the site was Monday, September 30. During the shutdown period BLS will not collect data, issue reports, or respond to public inquiries. Updates to the site will start again when the Federal government resumes operations. Revised schedules will be issued as they become available.”

New print materials are also not being sent to depository libraries, as the Government Printing Office is also operating on the “essential personnel only” model. “GPO will not be updating gpo.gov, FDLP.gov, the Catalog of Government Publications, Ben’s Guide, or be responding to askGPO questions until funding is restored.” However, “Congressional materials will continue to be processed and posted to FDsys. Federal Register services on FDsys will be limited to documents that protect life and property. The remaining collections on FDsys will not be updated and will resume after funding is restored.”

This is far from a cumulative list. It is meant only to alert you to what you can expect when trying to access data you generally have free and up-to-date access to. You can get more cumulative & updated data at www.opm.gov .

For questions on accessing government information during the shutdown, contact:  Lori Gwinett, Associate Professor and Government Documents Librarian (lgwinett@georgiasouthern.edu; 912-478-5032 Office; 912-478-5645 Information Desk)

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