Studying American politics? Finding it hard to search for and locate the swathes of information being published by the US Federal Government? Voxgov may be for you.
The Library has set up trial access to Voxgov, a distinctive resource that pulls together the vast amount of US Federal Government information, communications and publications and allows you to easily search, discover, compare and get full text access to this material.
You can access Voxgov from the E-resources trials page on the Library website (or direct at https://www.voxgov.com). On-campus access is direct. For off-campus access you will need to use the VPN.
The US Federal Government produces tens of millions of pages of documents and reports digitally every year but most of this information is either not visible or can be hard to find. Voxgov manages to capture and cache the increasingly large mix of documents including policy statements, regulatory edicts, news releases, social media posts and political communications from all three Federal branches. It also includes the online materials being issued by the offices of Members of Congress and Senators, as well as Federal agencies, lobbying organisations, think tanks and more.
The bulk of material is from the mid-2000s onwards, however, older material is being added as it is digitised by the US Federal Government and its various agencies.
With a free text search box, that also supports Boolean operators and brings up suggestions as you type, your search results are displayed in the middle and right-hand columns. The social media results are in the right-hand column but these can be moved into the middle column, so all results appear together in one list, if you prefer. On the left-hand side there are numerous options for refining your search and the graph at the top of the page is interactive (though you can hide this if you so wish!)
Advanced Search and Browse options are also available as well as an interesting Compare function, that allows you to “compare” publications, communications and information between the Democrats and Republicans on various topics.
The My voxgov section allows you to save searches, set up email alerts, build reports, follow specific agencies, etc., To use the My voxgov area you do have to register for a personal username and password, just click on the link and fill in the form as instructed to do so.
Why not take some time to try out this resource and see what you think.
Trial access is available until 30th November 2015. We would welcome feedback on this database as this helps with making the decision on whether the resource should be considered for subscription or not.
Caroline Stirling – Academic Support Librarian for Social and Political Science