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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

One Librarian’s LostDocs Experience: 10% Cataloging Rate

Vicki Tate is an active contributor to the Lost Docs Blog. She also independently tracks her own fugitive documents submissions to GPO.

She recently sent me her summary and supporting spreadsheet for her 2009 reports. Vicki gave FGI permission to publish her disappointing results:


I finished my summary of Lost Docs for 2009 and checked their status. There are two sheets–monographs and serials. The summary information for monographs is:

78 Monograph/individual titles submitted
8 Titles with records in CGP
5 Titles with PURLs
32 Titles with NO cataloging in OCLC

Serial titles fared even worse.


I have attached her spreadsheet to this blog post. Feel free to look it over and come to your own decisions.

Although 8/78 titles is only a 10.2% cataloging rate for reported items, it is important to remember that this is one librarian’s experience. Other librarians may have had better luck. Without full data from GPO, it’s hard to say. We are trying to fill in the gaps with the lost docs blog, but our data is only as complete as you make it. Plus we’re never sure of what proportion of documents reported to GPO we’re made aware of.

If you are treating your reports to GPO with the same level of tracking and supporting documentation, we’d like to hear from you. Please leave a comment or e-mail [email protected]

We at FGI salute Vicki Tate and other librarians like her trying their best to ensure a complete record of government publications.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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