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Information Search Strategies

The Library of Congress offers a variety of resources for locating information on federal government contracting. They include the online catalog, which is available both on site and off site on the Web, as well as other other open-access Web resources listed below. Our subscription databases are only accessible to patrons while they are on site at the Library of Congress, either from an LC public workstation or from a personal wireless-enabled device. Some databases may have full text, and we have tools to help you identify them. When in doubt, you can always consult a reference librarian.

Federal Government Contracting

August 2004
Updated January 2013

Table of Contents


Image (left): New Jersey Turnpike, 1952.
From the Gottscho-Schleisner Collection
Reproduction Number: LC-G613-T-62221

         Open Access Sources       |       Subscription Resources      |       Further Reading

Open Access Sources

Subscription Resources (Available only onsite)

Further Reading Lists

LC Subject Headings

Materials in the LC catalog are described using LC Subject Headings, and using these to search is the most effective strategy for using the catalog. Some suggested Library of Congress Subject Headings:

In addition to LC Subject Headings, Keywords on the topic of federal contracting may also be useful, especially when searching other Web resources.

Some suggested Keywords:

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Portals & Gateways

Broad area search services on the Web are useful for beginning any search for government-generated information.Below are some recommended sites:
DLA Internet Bid Board System (DIBBS)
Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)
"A web-based application that provides the capability to search for, view, and submit secure quotes on Requests For Quotations (RFQs) for Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) items of supply.  DIBBS also allows users to search and view Request For Proposals (RFPs), Invitations For Bid (IFBs), Awards and other procurement information related to DLA."
FDsys (Federal Digital System). GPO
Official information from all three branches of the Federal Government: FDsys full text databases include Budget of the United States Government, Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Business Opprtunities, the Congressional Record and many other publications.
National Technical Information Service
NTIS is the federal government's central source for the sale of scientific, technical, engineering, and related business information by or for the U.S. government and complementary materials from international sources. Approximately 3 million products are available in a variety of formats including online, electronic, multimedia, CD-ROM, paper, and microfiche. You can access information on more than 750,000 of these products from this Web site.
STINET Multisearch
Defense Technical Information Center, Scientific & Technical Information Net work.
Access pertinent scientific and technical information over a wide range of sources by selecting up to 10 databases to search simultaneously or click on a database name for direct access to a single database.
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Subscription Databases        Other Search Tools for E-journals and Articles

Abstracting & indexing services and full-text databases are often the best sources for current information with a narrow scope, such as articles in journals, newspapers, conference proceedings, and numerous other sources publishing on a periodic basis. You can also use specialized databases for finding information on companies involved in government contracting.

These electronic databases are purchased on a subscription basis, and to access them you must be in the Library of Congress, using any public workstation or your personal laptop through wireless connection. To see the complete list of currently available databases, go to the Library of Congress E-Resources Online Catalog.

Selected Subscription Databases

Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA)
National Technical Information Service
Access to the latest U.S. government-sponsored research and worldwide scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information. The National Technical Information Service is the central source for the sale of unclassified and publicly available information from research reports, journal articles, data files, computer programs and audio visual products from Federal sources (most reports cited in NTIS can be obtained from the LC Technical Reports & Standards section). NTIS also has a web-based search engine. 1964 - current; updated weekly, with approximately 3,500 new records added.
Dow Jones Factiva
Factiva is a vast full text archive of publications and up-to-the-minute reports and news focusing on global developments and business. Combines over 9,000 sources from the Dow Jones Interactive and Reuters Business Briefing to provide premium business content from 118 countries and in 22 languages. Factiva is very strong in trade journals and company reports.

Dun & Bradstreet
Hoovers Relationship Manager (formerly Selectory and Million Dollar Database)
Information on approximately 1,600,000 U.S. and internatonal public and private businesses. Company information includes industry information with up to 24 individual 8-digit SICs, size criteria (employees and annual sales), type of ownership, principal executives and biographies.

EBSCO Research Databases
Academic Search Complete
Full text for more than 6,100 scholarly publications, as well as indexing and abstracts for all 5,100 journals in the database. Updated on a daily basis. Coverage: 1965 to present.
EBSCO Research Databases
Business Source Complete
Provides bibliographic and full text content for thousands of the most important scholarly journals, magazines, and trade publications covering all disciplines of business, including marketing, management, MIS, POM, accounting, finance and economics. Additional full text content includes financial data, books, monographs, major reference works, book digests, conference proceedings, case studies, investment research reports, industry reports, market research reports, country reports, company profiles, SWOT analyses, faculty seminars (videos), and more. Indexing and abstracts for 1,300 scholarly business journals date back to 1886.
Gale Cengage®
Business Insights: Global
Detailed company and industry news and information, including company profiles, company brand and product information, rankings, investment reports, company histories, news articles, industry associations, and legal issues.
Gale Cengage®
General OneFile
Articles from more than 7,100 scholarly, trade, and general-interest periodicals, including 3,000 full-text. Coverage: 1980 to present.
Gale Cengage®
Business Reference Suite
This suite allows you to search one or more of the databases that provide facts, figures and key events for international public and private companies, industries, products, and markets for manufacturing and service industries. Includes Business & Industry® , Business & Management Practices , and TableBase™ . Covers over 1,400 leading trade magazines, newsletters, and the general business press to international business dailies. Coverage: 1995 to the present.
Business Full Text
A full text database that indexes and abstracts articles from English-language periodicals published in the United States and elsewhere, including the leading business magazines and trade and research journals, plus the full text of selected periodicals. Coverage: 1983 to the present.
Directory information for publicly and privately owned companies in the United States and Canada, as well as information about individual consumers in both countries. Compiled from over 5,000 Yellow page directories, Business White Pages, Corporate Annual Reports, SEC 10K reports, Chamber of Commerce Directories, state directories, and other public information sources. Searchable by Yellow Page heading, Industry group, SIC code, city or geographic area, employee size, sales volume, and consumer name.
Mergent Online
U.S. company data for over 15,000 public companies and their SEC filings and U.S. annual reports. Also contains International company data for approximately 17,000 companies, including international annual reports, FactSheets, and country information.
Policy File
PolicyFile is the only electronic database indexing research and publication abstracts addressing the complete range of public policy research. PolicyFile draws its content from public policy think tanks, university research programs, research organizations and publishers. Coverage: 1990 to present; updated weekly.
Bibliographic citations, abstracts, and full text of articles appearing in international business and management publications, academic journals, and trade magazines published worldwide. Coverage: 1971 to present.
Hoovers Company Profiles
Company overviews, financials, histories, news, officers, employees, locations and subsidiaries, products/operations, and competitors on more than 18,500 public and private U.S. companies and international companies.
Full text of 300+ U.S. and international news sources. Includes coverage of 150+ major U.S. and international newspaper collections Coverage:1986 to present.
Standard & Poor's
Information for the investor on markets and the economy. Includes data and analysis of industries, companies, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, indexes, and current news.

ThomasNet External Link
Product information for U.S. and Canadian manufacturing companies and the food service industry. Information for approximately 174,000 companies, compiled from the Thomas Register and three volumes of the Thomas Food Industry Register, as well as the Directory of Factory Automation, Products Systems and Services, the Office Automation Guide, and Industrial Equipment News.

Full-Text Newspapers
This page offers links to full-text newspaper databases that provide access to current issues of hundreds of newspapers as well as digital archives that go back to the 17th century.

Other Search Tools for E-journals and Articles

The following services allow searching or browsing journals by title and provide links to subscription services at LC which include those titles with full-text options.

These materials are in constant flux; for up to date information on holdings, consult a reference librarian.
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Amtower, Mark. Selling to the government : what it takes to compete and win in the world's largest market. Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley, c2011.
LC Call Number: HD3861.U6 A484 2011
LC Catalog Record: 2010037953

Bonthous, Jean-Marie. Bibliography of business/competitive intelligence and benchmarking literature. [Washington, D.C.], Washington Researchers, c1994. 246 p.
LC Call Number: Z7164.O7 B66 1994 (Business Reference Collection)
LC Catalog Record: 95168955

Cole, Peter S. and Joseph W. Beausoleil. Past performance handbook. Vienna, Va., Management Concepts, c2002. 320 p. Includes bibliographical references and index.
LC Call Number: HD3861.U6C655 2002
LC Catalog Record: 2002018838

Appendix A-- Best Practices for Collecting and Using Current and Past Performance Information.
Appendix B--A Guide to Collection and Use of Past Performance Information.

Government contract awards : negotiation & nealed bidding. [St. Paul, Minn.] : West, c2010-
LC Call Number: KF842 .G667
LC Catalog Record: 2011207425

Parvey, Malcolm and Deborah Alston. The definitive guide to government contracts : everything you need to apply for and win federal and GSA schedule contracts. Franklin Lakes, NJ : CAREER PRESS, c2010.
LC Call Number: HD3861.U6 P35 2010
LC Catalog Record: 2010008888

Shannon, Rebecca A. Government proposals : cutting through the chaos. Vienna, Va., Management Concepts, c2001. 238 p. Includes index.
LC Call Number: HD3861.U6 S5
LC Catalog Record: 00067887

Appendix A--Checklists
Appendix B--Samples.

Stanberry, Scott A. Federal contracting made easy. 3rd ed. Vienna, Va., Management Concepts, c2009. 351 p. Includes index.
LC Call Number: KF850.S73 2009 (Law Library Reading Room)
LC Catalog Record: 2008024552

Whelan, John W. Federal government contracts : cases and materials. 3rd ed. New York : Foundation Press Thomson/West, 2007.
LC Call Number: KF848 .W45 2007
LC Catalog Record: 2007274413

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Serials & Selected Articles

Most serial publications may be found in print or online (or both) formats. In some cases, older issues may be available in microform. Most recent print issues will be found in one of the following Reading Rooms:
BRS       ... Business Reference Services
LL RR    ... Law Library Reading Room
MRR      ... Main Reading Room
NCP RR ... Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room
Contract management. [Vienna, Va., etc.] National Contract Management Association. Monthly.
LC Call Number: KF842.C66 LL RR
LC Catalog Record: 79640277
Publisher's Web site: External Link

Federal government contractor's manual. San Diego, Harcourt Brace Professional Pub. Annual.
LC Call Number: KF849.F363 LL RR
LC Catalog Record: 2001202429

The Federal technology source : who's who in government technology. Washington, D. C., Government Executive. Annual.
LC Call Number: T58.5. F43
LC Catalog Record: 94648412

Special annual issue of Government Executive (see next entry).

Government computer news. Washington, DC. 1982- . Washington, DC : PostNewsweek Media Inc.,
Current issues only. NCP RR
LC Catalog Record: sv85027197

Articles available at the publication's web site. External Link

Government Executive. Washington, Executive Publications. 15 no. a year.
LC Call Number: JK1.G58 NCP RR
LC Catalog Record: 73006339

Online at External Link
Includes: Top 200 Federal Contractors External Link

Public Contract Law Journal. Chicago, Ill. : Section of Public Contract Law, American Bar Association. Quarterly.
LC Call Number: K16 .U17 LL RR
LC Catalog Record: 70618216

VARbusiness. Manhasset, N.Y., CMP Publications. Biweekly.
LC Call Number: HD9696.C63 U59344 NCP RR
LC Catalog Record: 87641551

Recent issues available online at

Washington Technology. Vienna, Va. : Capitol Technology Read-Out, Inc., 1986-
Current issues only. NCP RR
LC Catalog Record: sn91003563

Articles and ranking like the Top 100 Federal Contractors available at the publication's web site. External Link

Selected Articles

  • The Basics of government contract administration. Contract Management, June 2003, v. 43: 42A.
    LC Call Number: KF842 .C66 LL RR
    LC Catalog Record: 79640277

  • Baur, F. Trowbridge vom. Early days of government contract practice. Public Contract Law Journal, March 1989, v. 18: 446-459.
    LC Call Number: K16 .U17 LL RR
    LC Catalog Record: 70618216

  • Bruce, Agnes Rodriguez. United States v. Winstar Corp.: a case study in institutional government ethics. Public Contract Law Journal, Spring 1997, v. 26: 397-421.
    LC Call Number: K16 .U17 LL RR
    LC Catalog Record: 70618216

  • Garrett, Gregory A. What Small and Emerging Government Contractors Must Know to Win Business with the U.S. Government, Part 1. Contract Management, October 2010, v. 50: 33-50
    LC Call Number: KF842 .C66 LL RR
    LC Catalog Record: 79640277

  • Kathuria, Sandeep. Best practices for compliance with the new government contrator compliance and ethics rules under the Federal Acquisition Regulatione. Public Contract Law Journal, Summer 2009, v. 38: 803-856.
    LC Call Number: K16 .U17 LL RR
    LC Catalog Record: 70618216

  • Kelman, Steven. Remaking federal procurement. Public Contract Law Journal, Summer 2002, v. 31: 581-622.
    LC Call Number: K16 .U17 LL RR
    LC Catalog Record: 70618216

  • Lindemann, Carl. How To Sell To the DoD -- Whether you're a veteran or a neophyte, you can profit from these six steps to success. VARbusiness, June 10, 2002.
    LC Call Number: HD9696.C63 U59344
    LC Catalog Record: 87641551

  • Locaria, Dismas N. and John G Williams. The GSA Schedules: How to "Get on Schedule" and Broaden Your Business. Contract Management, December 2009, v. 49: 30-38.
    LC Call Number: KF842 .C66 LL RR
    LC Catalog Record: 79640277

  • Nagle, James F. A review of best proactices in the acquisition of a government contractor. Public Contract Law Journal, Spring 2010, v. 39: 701-703.
    LC Call Number: K16 .U17 LL RR
    LC Catalog Record: 70618216

  • Wall, Richard J. and Carolyn M. Jones. Navigating the rugged terrain of government contracts. Internal Auditor, April 1995, v. 52: 32.
    LC Call Number: Microfilm (o) 82/206 Request in the Microform RR.
    LC Catalog Record: 58038521       Microfilm Record:

  • Whitley, j. GAO Issues Revised Yellow Book. Internal Auditor, April 2007, v. 64: 16-18
    LC Call Number: Microfilm (o) 82/206 Request in the Microform RR.
    LC Catalog Record: 58038521       Microfilm Record:

Last updated: 05/11/2018

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