Examples of a publication include but are not limited to: annual reports, audits, plans, program reviews, directories, maps, statistical compilations, surveys, research reports, newsletters, manuals, handbooks, guides, meeting minutes, technical reports, and conference proceedings.
Criteria for Deposit
To decide whether a publication should be deposited, ask yourself three key questions:
- Is it published by a state agency or at state government expense?
- Is it intended for public distribution?
- Is it distributed outside the agency?
If the answer is “yes” on all counts, the item is a likely candidate for deposit. Funding source and scope of distribution are the two main criteria for determining whether a publication should be deposited with us. Let’s take a closer look at each of these criteria.
Funding source. In general, if the publication is funded by taxes or constituent fees, it is eligible for deposit. This includes items published by state agencies, for state agencies, under contract with state agencies, or in cooperation with state agencies. Today, governmental functions are increasingly carried out through partnerships with private-sector firms and other levels of government. It is especially important to capture the research and policy information found in publications resulting from such partnerships.
Distribution. A key phrase in the law is “for public distribution.” Internal memos, procedure manuals, staff newsletters, and in-house reports do not qualify for deposit. On the other hand, any publication distributed beyond the confines of the agency should be deposited, even if it targets a relatively narrow audience such as program participants or client groups. In our experience, such publications provide insight into the workings of the agency and can be of interest to many users beyond the intended audience.
Categories of Publications
Another way to think about depository requirements is to look at broad categories of publications. Most state publications pertain to the state’s financial and legal framework, agency operations, or client services.
Financial and legal framework. In this category are budget documents and audit reports; legislative journals, reports, bills, laws, and codes; judicial decisions; administrative rules and codes; Executive Orders; and Attorney General’s Opinions. Distribution of many of these is formalized under separate statutes, but the remainder are subject to the depository law.
Agency operations. This category includes annual reports, plans, program reviews, and audit reports. It also covers informational by-products of agency operations, such as directories, bibliographies, maps, statistical compilations, surveys, minutes, and research reports.
Client services. This category may include such items as newsletters, manuals, hand-books, guides, safety bulletins, consumer pamphlets, program brochures, or information sheets targeting a specific client group.