Home » post » Sunlight provides databases of government information to university libraries

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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.

Sunlight provides databases of government information to university libraries

[Editor’s note: Adeeb Sahar, Stanford undergraduate student and Sunlight Foundation intern, asked me to post the following PSA about Sunlight’s many projects of interest to students, researchers, and the public. FGI has no official connection to Sunlight Foundation. We just love what they’re doing!]

The Sunlight Foundation has launched a campaign to partner with university libraries to provide easy access for students and researchers by cataloging as electronic resources its vast online databases of information on politics and government data.

Sunlight Foundation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to enhance government transparency through free online resources that track political contributions, follow federal regulations and bills and monitor Congressional activity.

Many universities have already let in the sunlight; Sunlight’s projects are cataloged in university library databases including those at Stanford University, New York University and the University of Pennsylvania. In its ongoing effort to supply government information to students, the Sunlight Foundation is looking to partner with even more university libraries.

The following are the most commonly cataloged databases by university libraries and are geared toward university-level researchers and students interested in political science, public policy, and politics and government:

  • Scout is the first free searchable database of regulations and bills from all fifty states and the federal government. This service searches through a variety of sources including the Congressional Record, THOMAS, and the Federal Register to produce curated legislative news alerts.
  • Influence Explorer contains the most recent information on political contributions, lobbying information, contracts and other government data, allowing users to track and analyze influence by lawmaker, company or prominent individual.
  • Clearspending is a scorecard that analyzes how well U.S. government agencies are reporting their spending data on USAspending.gov and provides insights to any descrepancies.
  • Open Congress brings together official legislative data with news and blog coverage, social networking, public participation tools, and more to give users a comprehensive assessment of Congressional activity.
  • Capitol Words makes searchable all Congressional records from 1996 to today by state, date or politician to uncover the most popular words and phrases used by legislators in the U.S. Congress.

If you are a subject specialist interested in including Sunlight Foundation’s electronic databases on your university library website, contact Adeeb Sahar at asahar@sunlightfoundation.com or Amy Ngai at angai@sunlightfoundation.com. See the Sunlight Foundation site for more information about our projects.

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