Superintendent of Documents Classification Guidelines Revision Project

The U.S. Government Publishing Office’s (GPO’s) Library Services and Content Management (LSCM) uses the Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) classification scheme to classify U.S. Government publications in both tangible and electronic formats. As the authority for SuDocs classification, it is essential that classification rules be consistently applied.

The GPO Classification Manual, the established reference tool for SuDocs classification practice, was published in 1993 in tangible format. As numerous policy changes have occurred since its publication, the lack of a centralized, updated source for guidance poses challenges in implementing consistent and correct classification decisions.

The goal of this project is to update the 1993 GPO Classification Manual and to have the most current SuDocs classification instructions in one place that are:

  • Available to the FDLP community and LSCM staff.
  • In a format that is accessible online.
  • Easily updated with necessary changes, corrections, and enhancements.

The scope of this project has included a comprehensive review of:

  • Past and current SuDocs classification policies and practices, including the 1993 GPO Classification Manual.
  • Policy changes made by GPO staff.
  • Other updates to SuDocs classification policy that have occurred over the years.

The project was initiated in the fall of 2015. Updates to the project have been delivered at the 2015 DLC Meeting and FDL Conference and the 2016 DLC Meeting and FDL Conference as part of the GPO Technical Services Unit update. A subsequent update was presented at the 2017 DLC Meeting and FDL Conference, again as part of the GPO Technical Services Unit Update.

The Superintendent of Documents Classification Guidelines launched in the summer of 2018.