Several observers at the recently closed Spring 2010 Depository Library Council conference reported that GPO staff are asking people to use the askGPO form available at http://gpo.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/gpo.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php when reporting fugitive documents instead of the LostDocs form. The LostDocs form may be in the process of being revised.

We at the LostDocs blog want to do whatever we can to ensure accurate reporting that gets to the right people at GPO. So we encourage people to use the askGPO form after first checking the Catalog of Government Publications.

When you get to the askGPO form, be sure to select “Federal Depository Libraries” as a category, then select fugitive publications/lostdocs as a subcategory. Then provide as much as you know about the document like title, producing agency, URL if there is one, author contact if available and so forth. Give GPO everything you think you would need or want to know to locate a copy of the document on your own.

askGPO also sends out e-mail receipts. So if you make a report through askGPO, we ask that you forward your askGPO receipt to lostdocs “AT” freegovinfo DOT info, so they can be posted to this blog.

One particularly exciting piece of news that came out of the Spring 2010 DLC was that GPO may institute statistical reporting for fugitive documents/documents discovery. All of us at FGI hope that this is true. GPO could give out a more complete picture of what is happening to reported documents than we can. We’re a flashlight in the dark that highlights some documents but not others. A fully transparent GPO reporting program on fugitive documents could be the full light of day that would benefit everyone.