May 22, 2022

Journal Article: “Searching FOIA Libraries For Government Information”

The article linked to below was recently published by Government Information Quarterly.

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Searching FOIA Libraries For Government Information


Lisa DeLuca
Seton Hall University


Government Information Quarterly
Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.giq.2019.101417


FOIA Libraries are the repositories for many documents released under the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act), i.e., “responsive documents,” by federal agencies and their sub agencies. Awareness of search terminology for FOIA Libraries or electronic reading rooms can assist the public and researchers to locate publicly available government information, including responsive documents. Responsive documents are the responses to FOIA requests that can be posted (in full or with redactions) by federal agencies. FOIA responses may not be easily findable by major web search engines. The goal of this article is to educate readers about government and non-government FOIA resources and declassified document repositories for discovery. It is important for researchers, journalists and citizens to use “FOIA Libraries,” “Electronic Reading Room,” or “FOIA tag” to search for documents concerning government activities and operations that are released under the FOIA on the web. In addition to aiding in the research process, access to responsive documents information furthers democratic goals of transparency and supports findability of government information by the public.

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Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.