October 7, 2015

After 12 Years the BrowseTopics.gov Directory of U.S. Government Web Sites is No More

After 12 years the useful BrowseTopics.gov directory of U.S. Government web resources developed and maintained by professional librarians at Oklahoma St. University is no more.

In their own words:

Browse Topics is a resource designed to be the pathway to any publicly-accessible, Government information. Maintained by volunteer librarians, Browse Topics helps the public locate data, conduct research, and learn about various government Web sites.

Things Change

If you visit BrowseTopics.gov today you’ll find this statement from the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP):

The Browse Topics Web site (formerly http://browsetopics.gov) has been discontinued concluding a successful 12 year partnership between the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and Oklahoma State University (OSU). Browse Topics was an indispensable search aid for Federal Government information. However, as technology progresses and an increasing number of resources became available online, OSU and GPO mutually came to the decision that the resource guide has served its purpose. Also, absent significant change, Browse Topics cannot compete with newer electronic indexing and LibGuides created by depository librarians.

GPO thanks OSU for their strong partnership and Federal depository librarians across the country who contributed to Browse Topics. GPO also extends special thanks to OSU’s Suzanne Reinman and Barbara Miller, who served as Browse Topics’ editors.

See Also: The BrowseTopics.gov Directory From May 18, 2011 (via Wayback Machine)

Comment From Gary:

Browsing and serendipity remain valuable discovery tools and while the FDLP does point out that “newer electronic indexing and LibGuides” are popular having a central location to visit, use, and share with researchers was also helpful especially when working to navigate U.S. government information.

There is a massive amount of value in curated directories (that can also be searched) and librarians should play an active part in developing and maintaining them.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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