How to Find UK Official Publications Online

A huge number of British official/government publications are available on the web. Knowing how to find them, however, can be a bit difficult. We’ve compiled here some of the best sites that either aggregate or link to official publications.

The Houses of Parliment. Photo courtesy Maurice (http://www.flickr.com/people/mauricedb/)

The Houses of Parliment. Photo courtesy Maurice (http://www.flickr.com/people/mauricedb/)

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (HCPP)
HCPP includes over 200,000 House of Commons sessional papers from 1715 to the present, with supplementary material back to 1688. The searching mechanisms on this site are very robust and sessional papers can be located through browsing or keywords. Search results are available in full-text. To access this site for free, you will need to be connected to the Oxford network, which will automatically log you in.

British Official Publications Collaborative Reader Information Service (BOPCRIS)
BOPCRIS was created from the indexes of The Ford Selections of British Parliamentary Papers 1801-1995. The contents of the indexes were integrated into a bibliographic database with additional detailed abstracting and indexing. Access to BOPCRIS is available by searching the University of Southampton Library WebCat (use “Advanced Search” and limit your search to “Material Type” British Official Publications).

Official Documents
This straightforward website is the official reference facility for Command and departmentally sponsored House of Commons Papers. From May 2005 onwards, all Command Papers and House of Commons Papers, as well as key Departmental Papers, are available for free on the site in PDF. See also the Stationery Office’s online bookshop for a complete listing of British official publications available for purchase and the Official Documents Archive for material published between 1994 and April 2005.

Keele University Guide to Governments and International Organisations
This page is designed for Keele University students, but it offers useful information for anyone exploring official publications. A comprehensive listing of official UK and international resources is provided, as well as clear explanations of the nature of these materials. Well-selected links direct readers to additional resources.

United Kingdom Official Publications (UKOP)
UKOP is a bibliographic database of all British official publications created since 1980 including Stationery Office, Departmental (non-Stationery Office) and Agency publications. With 450,000 records from over 2000 public bodies, it is the most comprehensive source of information on official publications available. The “browse by department” function is particularly useful. Oxford members can access the full database via OxLip+.

Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI)
OPSI provides access to a variety of official publications, including all UK legislation dating back to 1987. See also Inforoute, which identifies information held by government departments, agencies and other organisations as part of the Government’s Information Asset Register (IAR). Documents cannot be directly accessed, but this site does offer useful listings of unpublished resources.

Parliamentary Data
This site indexes the proceedings and publications of both Houses of Parliament since the May 2001 general election and includes the full text of Early Day Motions. The searching interface is slightly antiquated, but the content is thorough and updated regularly. Parliamentary Data is derived from PIMS (Parliamentary Information Management Services), which is Parliament’s repository for its data.

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