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Brief Guide to Citing Canadian Government Documents and Statistics

This guide is intended to provide a general overview of how to cite Canadian government publications. Citations for any government publications should be consistent with the style used for other sources in your paper (i.e., APA or MLA Style of Citation).

Sources used in developing this guide:

  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 4th ed., 1995
    LB2369 .G53 1995 (Stauffer Books)
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 4th ed., 1994
    BF76.7 .P83 1994t (Stauffer Books)
  • The Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources: A Manual for Writers & Librarians, rev. ed., 1993
    US7 CIS 93C53 (Documents Reference)

Whether citing a print or electronic source, two general rules of thumb are:

  1. provide as much information as you can to help the reader locate the exact source cited
  2. be as consistent as possible

Given the variations and permutations of materials, sources, and formats out there, the latter rule is not always easy to follow!

How to Cite Print

Basic citation form:
Issuing Agency. Subgroup(s) of Issuing Agency. Title proper: Subtitle. Personal Author(s) and Corporate Author(s). (Agency Report Number; Medium). Edition. Place of publication: Publisher, Date. (Series). Notes.

  • Issuing Agency
    Start with the political jurisdiction (Federal, Provincial or Municipal)
  • Subgroup(s)of Issuing Agency
    Add all Department names, Branches, Divisions, etc. of the Issuing Agency in descending order.
  • Title Proper
    Use the most prominent title on the main title page. If there is a subtitle, separate the subtitle from the main title with a colon.
  • Personal Author(s)
    Add any personal authors, in normal order, after the title. Include their role (e.g., 'edited by' or 'compiled by').
  • Corporate Author(s)
    Add the corporate author after the title/personal author statement. If there is more than one corporate author, cite the most prominent one following the title/personal author statement and cite the others in a note at the end of the citation.
  • Agency Report Number
    Place agency report numbers in parentheses immediately following the author statement. Cite them exactly as they appear on the document(s).
  • Medium
    Name the medium for any non-print document. It should be placed in parentheses after the title, author and report number. It can also be placed in a note at the end of the citation. Examples of medium statements include, microfiche, CD-ROM, map, videotape, computer disk, on-line database, etc.
  • Edition
    Use this statement if the document is a new or revised edition. Use this statement to also indicate whether the document is a draft or final report.
  • Place of Publication: Publisher, Date
    The publisher is usually the issuing agency. If a printer or distributor is found on the front or back of the title page (also check the back page), cite it as the publisher. The date can usually be found in the same place(s) as the publisher. If you cannot find a date, use 'n.d.' (no date). If you know the date from another source, cite it with square brackets around it. You can also use square brackets around place and publisher if they are known but not on the document.
  • Series
    The full series title and number should be placed in parentheses following the publication statement.
  • Notes
    Note statements are used to provide information that does not fit in the basic parts of a citation listed above. Notes should be placed in parentheses at the end of the citation. They are generally used to further describe the document (e.g., pamphlet, unpublished papers, numbers assigned by the issuing agency, language other than English, etc.).

How to Cite Electronic

Basic citation form:
The format is similar to that used for print sources, except that 'Medium' and 'Notes' are required parts of the citation.

Issuing Agency. Subgroup(s) of Issuing Agency. Title proper: Subtitle. Personal Author(s) and Corporate Author(s). (Agency Report Number; Medium). Edition. Place of publication: Publisher, Date. (Series). Notes.

  • Medium
    Always use this statement when citing electronic sources to describe the format. If the citation is contained in two formats (e.g., software and CD-ROM), cite both. If the medium is cited as part of the title, there is no need to repeat it.
  • Note(s)
    Notes can be grouped together at the end of a citation if, they are separated by semicolons. Notes are used to describe the data format, documentation, system requirements, etc. Most importantly, the note statement must give information on where the document is available. Always include the URL or online address. Also include the date accessed in square brackets at the end of the citation.

How to Cite Microforms

Basic citation form:
The format is similar to that used for print sources, except that you should include the type of microform and any identification information associated with the microform in question. These are required parts of the citation.

Issuing Agency. Subgroup(s) of Issuing Agency. Title proper: Subtitle. Personal Author(s) and Corporate Author(s). (Agency Report Number; Medium). Edition. (type of microform) Place of publication: Publisher, Date. (Series). (Identification number) Notes.

  • Type of microform
    Indicate type (e.g. microfiche, microfilm, microcard, etc.) in round brackets.
  • Identification number/information
    Generally accession numbers or other form of identification (e.g. Microlog number, Microfilm number, etc.). Put in round brackets.
e.g. MICROLOG

Canada. Solicitor General. Annual report on the use of electronic surveillance as required under subsection 195(1) of the Criminal Code, 1995.(microfiche). Ottawa: Solicitor General Canada, 1997. (Microlog # 98-03197).

Parliamentary

Print

Canada. Parliament. House of Commons. Debates, 35th Parliament, 2nd Session, 1996-1997, vol. 134, No.151, April 8, 1997. Ottawa: Canadian Government Publishing, 1997.

Canada. Library of Parliament. Research Branch. National Defence Act: Reform of the military justice system by Michel Rossignol. Rev. Ed. Ottawa: Supply and Services Canada, 1997. (Current Issue Review 96-1E). (Cat. No. YM32-1/96-1-1997-01E).

Canada. Parliament. Senate. Journals of the Senate. 36th Parliament, 1st session, No. 62, May 14, 1998. Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1998.

Electronic

Canada. Parliament. House of Commons. Debates, 36th Parliament, 1st Session, vol. 135, issue 121A, June 18, 1998. (Online). Available: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=36&Ses=1&DocId=2332827. (via WWW) [July 30, 2004].

Legislative

Print

Bill C-3: An Act respecting DNA identification and to make consequential amendments to the Criminal Code and other Acts. 1st Reading, September 25, 1997, 36th Parliament, 1st Session, 1997. Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1997.

"Privacy Act." In Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985.Vol. 7, Chapter P-21. Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1985.

"An Act to Amend the Copyright Act" In Statutes of Canada 1997, Chapter 24. Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1997.

Electronic

Bill C-49: An Act providing for the ratification and the bringing into effect of the Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management. 1st Reading, June 11, 1998, 36th Parliament, 1st Session, 1997-1998. (Online). Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1998. Available: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=1033332&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=36&Ses=1. [July 30, 2004].

Standing Committees

Print

Canada. Parliament. House of Commons. Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. Evidence. (Issue No. 58, February 23, 1995) 35th Parliament, 1st Session, 1994-1995. Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services, 1995.

Canada. Parliament. Senate. Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology. Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs. Proceedings. (Issue No. 9, March 19, 1998). 36th Parliament, 1st Session, 1997-98. Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1998.

Electronic

Canada. Parliament. House of Commons. Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. Minutes of Proceedings. (Meeting No. 60, June 8, 1998) 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (Online). Available: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=1033332&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=36&Ses=1.[July 30, 2004].

Commissions

Print

Canada. Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. People to people, nation to nation: Highlights from the report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Ottawa: Supply and Services Canada, 1996. (Cat. No. Z1-1991/1-6E).

Canada. Commission of Inquiry into Certain Events at the Prison for Women in Kingston. Report. Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1996. (Cat. No. JS42-73/1996E). (Commissioner: The Honourable Louise Arbour).

Electronic

Canada. Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada: Final Report. (Online). Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1997. (Cat. No. CP32-62/3-1997E). (Commissioner: The Honourable Mr. Justice Horace Krever). Available: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/activit/com/krever-eng.php. [July 30, 2004].

Departments

Print

Statistics Canada. 2001 Census of Canada: Profile of Census Divisions and Subdivisions.. Ottawa: Industry Canada, 2004. Catalogue number 95-2222-XPB.

Agriculture Canada. History of Soil Survey in Canada. Ottawa: Soil Research Institute, 1978. (Historical Series No. 11). 30pp.

Electronic

Census - from PCensus
Statistics Canada. 2001 Census of Canada: Profile Data. Ottawa, Canada. Statistics Canada [producer]; Tetrad Computer Applications, Vancouver, BC [distributor]. Available: Queen's University Social Science Data Centre.

Depending on your needs, you could include more detail in the citation (e.g. level of geography). In this case you would use the same basic citation, but include:

... 2001 Census of Canada: Profile Data for Kingston at the Census Tract level. Ottawa...

CANSIM series from U. of T. - CHASS
Statistics Canada. CANSIM II; series V735319. Ottawa, Ont.: Statistics Canada [producer]; Toronto, Ont.: University of Toronto. CHASS [distributor], http://dc1.chass.utoronto.ca/chasscansim/ [Oct. 7, 2003]

Agencies

Print

Canada. National Forum on Health. Health and Health Care Issues: Summaries of Papers Commissioned by the National Forum on Health. Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1997. (Cat. No. H21-126/3-1-1997E).

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Canada. Measuring R & D: Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Research Funding, Ottawa, Sept. 13-15, 1995. Ottawa: Supply and Services Canada, 1996. (With the National Natural Science Foundation of China). (Cat. No. NS3-24/1996).

Electronic

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Guide to the Preparation of a Comprehensive Study for Proponents and Responsible Authorities May 1997 (Online). Available: http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/013/0001/0003/comps_e.htm. [July 30, 2004].

Other Citation Guides

 

This page is derived from a page written by Sharon Musgrave, Queen's University Library, in 1998. Revised version by Jeff Moon, Queen's University Library.

Last Updated: 05 July 2013

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