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Newsletter of the Federal Depository Library Program

[ PDF version ]  [ Back Issues ]
Cumulative Table of Contents Vol. 1 - present [ PDF ] ( includes current issue )

May 1, 2003

GP 3.16/3-2:24/05
(Vol. 24, no. 05)

GPO Access Update
Office of Electronic Information Dissemination Services

Federal Depository Library Council Meeting, Spring 2003
April 6 - 9 2003, Reno, Nevada
GPO Access Statistical Measures

  • Since 1994, GPO Access retrievals have exceeded 1.6 billion, which is equivalent to over 39.2 billion typewritten pages, and reached an all-time monthly high of over 36.8 million document retrievals in January 2003.

  • The average number of monthly retrievals from GPO Access is currently 32 million and the average size of these documents is currently about 49Kb. With 2Kb equaling roughly one typewritten page, the average size of a document retrieved from GPO Access equates to some 24.5 typewritten pages and costs less than a penny per retrieval.

  • GPO Access contains over 147,000 electronic titles and points to over 93,000 others for a total of over 240,000 titles.

  • GPO Access provides use of almost 2,800 databases through more than 80 applications.

GPO Access Redesign

  • GPO Access has been re-launched with a new and enhanced look and feel. This was accomplished as a result of feedback from users, through surveys, usability studies, focus groups, and contacts received through the GPO Access User Support Team. Re-directs are provided from old pages to the current pages. Feel free to make comments as additional improvements and refinements are made to the Web site.

New Domain Name for GPO Access

  • GPO Access has established a new domain name, <http://www.gpoaccess.gov>. Re-directs will be provided for all pages to the new domain.

GPO Access Performance Measurement and Improvement

  • GPO is taking steps to "Akamaize" as many of the static files on GPO Access as possible so that they can be delivered through the Akamai content delivery network, effectively spreading the load to local servers and lessening the burden on the main GPO Access system. In addition to the Federal Register Table of Contents daily files, the browse feature beginning with the 2003 Code of Federal Regulations now includes "Akamaized" Text and PDF files.

  • Work continues towards procuring a new platform to replace the WAIS search and retrieval software for GPO Access in order to improve system performance and enhance customer usability. Staff members from Superintendent of Documents and Production Services are working closely on developing a detailed Statement of Work (SOW) that will allow GPO to select the most effective platform for GPO Access. The SOW will outline both the customer functionality and the technical requirements needed to move forward with the procurement and implementation of the next generation of software in FY 2004. The SOW will also include a requirement to migrate all WAIS databases on GPO Access to the new platform simultaneously to ensure continuity throughout the site.
  • Through the use of Keynote Systems Inc., a performance measurement service, we are continuing to monitor system performance from 10 major cities in the United States. Daily monitoring is conducted on the GPO Access homepage, the U.S. Government Online Bookstore, and a transaction in the Code of Federal Regulations database. Recently, Regulations.gov <http://www.regulations.gov> has been included among the pages monitored. The information gained is being used to work toward improved performance.

What's New on GPO Access


  • Regulations.gov <http://www.regulations.gov>, which was released to the general public on January 23, 2003, gives the public a place to have their voices heard, and it allows them to have a hand in the democratic and regulatory processes. Regulations.gov, which was developed as a part of the President's Management Agenda - E-Rulemaking Initiative, is a groundbreaking achievement in the creation of a citizen-centered e-democracy. At this Federal regulatory clearinghouse, the public is easily able to participate in the Federal rulemaking process. From the Regulations.gov Web site, the public can view a description of every proposed rule, final rule, or other document currently open for comment, read full texts of these documents, and submit comments to the Federal agencies that have created them. NARA and GPO are two of the lead partners in the Regulations.gov project.

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

  • In order to authenticate the PDF versions of Congressional Bills, the use of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) will be implemented for the 108th Congress. Users with a free software reader will be able to confirm that a bill was approved for submission to GPO by the appropriate Congressional authority and that it has not been altered since it has been signed. The free reader will be linked from <http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/cong009.html> and other pages as a plug-in.

Public and Private Laws LISTSERV

  • A new LISTSERV has been developed by the U.S. Government Printing Office. Users can sign up to receive e-mail notification when new Public and Private laws become available on GPO Access. These e-mails include links to the ASCII text and PDF versions of new public or private laws. To sign up, visit <http://listserv.access.gpo.gov/archives/gpo-plaws-l.html>.

Search Engine Results

  • The ninth evaluation was recently conducted on the visibility of GPO Access and its Web pages in the indices of major Internet search engines. Twenty of the major search engines were analyzed to determine the frequency at which a specified search term returned the appropriate GPO Access page. 28% of searches retrieved the appropriate page within the top five returns (up from 26% in the eighth evaluation), and 31% returned it within the top ten (up from 29%). GPO Access pages were within the top thirty returns 35% of the time (the same as in the eighth evaluation). Also analyzed were directories and how they list GPO Access pages. The measurement of success in directories is the number of clicks, which indicate the layers within the directories. Of the 20 search engines examined in the ninth evaluation, 13 possessed directory trees. Of these 13, eight listed at least one GPO Access page within four clicks/levels. For more information, the full report is available at <http://fedbbs.access.gpo.gov/access.htm> --click on GPO Access Search Engine Project Report.

Online Bookstore Enhancements

  • Over the past several years, GPO has made a number of enhancements to the U.S. Government Online Bookstore to improve the customer experience in regard to searching and ordering Federal Government publications. In order to move forward with the "next generation" of services that customers are expecting from the Online Bookstore, GPO recently placed a Request for Information (RFI) in FedBizOpps. The purpose is to procure the services of a consultant who can identify an e-commerce solution and make a recommendation on how GPO should proceed with a commercial e-commerce product solution.

Under Development

  • Procurement has been initiated for a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software package for use by the GPO Access User Support Team, Library Program Services and other areas of GPO. This software will provide an electronic knowledgebase to help answer frequently asked questions, and also will provide Web chat functionality in real-time.

  • A version of Ben's Guide to U.S. Government targeted at adults is in the process of being designed.

Upcoming Outreach

EIDS personnel will be attending and displaying the GPO booth at the following shows:

May 3 - 6

Medical Library Association

San Diego, CA

June 9 - 11

Special Libraries Association

New York, NY

June 21 - 24

American Library Association Annual Conference

Toronto, Canada