The SuDoc Classification System
Items in the MU Libraries published by the US Government in King Library are organized using the Superintendent of Documents Call Number system, or 'SuDoc' for short. Rather than organizing items by subject, the SuDoc system organizes items by the parent agency of the agency that published them. For instance publications from the National Park Service are given SuDoc numbers beginning with 'I' for the NPS's parent agency, the Department of the Interior.
The most recognizable feature of a SuDoc call number is the colon. The basic principle of the SuDoc system is that numbers are divided into Stems (located before the colon), that describe the source and type of publication, and Book Numbers (located after the colon), that describe the specific item. SuDoc stems consist of a letter, usually the first letter of an agency name ('I' for Interior, 'E' for Energy) and a number that designates the , while book numbers identify specific items.
|This example shows the SuDoc number for "Ford's Theatre and the House Where Lincoln Died," a guide book to the Ford's Theatre National Historic Site. Published by the National Park Service, under the Department of the Interior.|
Michigan State University Libraries Government Documents Department has created an interactive tutorial for teaching the SuDoc system to librarians and staff.
Most style manuals contain basic formats for citing documents in research. However, because of the variety of types of documents, it can be difficult to figure out how to create a citation. The standard guide is the Blue Book: A Uniform System of Citation, in print. [A short and limited guide is online.] Some samples below, but you may have to adapt the format of your citation to reflect the spirit of the structure if you cannot find an exact match. In general, the idea of citation is that you can find a source again, and that your citations are reasonably standardized and consistent. Some of the databases will supply citations for each document.
Samples of Citations
(From the The Bluebook: a Uniform System of Citation): note there are many variations and it is best to check with the Bluebook for specific details for each kind of document).
Other Useful Guides
Other Citation Styles