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Tag Archive | "THOMAS"

DOI Library Training Session – “Introduction to Congress.gov” – Wednesday, August 7th, 10:00 am

Originally posted on FEDLIB – Federal Librarians Discussion List

Congress.gov, the successor to THOMAS.gov, is the new online resource for accessing free, fact-based United States legislative information. It is a collaborative effort by the Library of Congress, Senate, House of Representatives, and the Government Printing Office. Researchers can now search across all of the content in the system, refine their results, quickly see the status of a bill on a timeline, and view the new Member pages with sponsored and co-sponsored legislation. Additionally, the system is designed to dynamically fit any size screen being used, mobile, notebook, and/or computer. For many, a key feature is the use of durable URLs assigned to specific documents found in the database. Congress.gov is presently in the beta stage, so information from THOMAS is being migrated over in stages. The Congressional Record and the detailed list of Congressional actions per legislative bill were recently added. Other data, such as committee reports, nominations, and treaty information from the Senate Foreign Relations committee will be incorporated over time. When the migration is complete in late 2014, the older, more fragile THOMAS.gov will be retired.

 

Please join Pamela Barnes Craig, Senior Legal Reference Librarian at the Law Library of Congress, for an introduction to the new Congress.gov website, its current and planned resources, and tips on how to best navigate this valuable online legislative service.

 All that are interested are invited.  The DOI Library is located in the Main Interior Building, located at 1849 C Street, NW, Room 1151 in Washington.  Space for the program is limited so please go to the following link to register:

 https://docs.google.com/a/nbc.gov/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dDVHQUhwT3h4aVJURm14VVV0amR6SlE6MA#gid=0

 

Unfortunately, this class will not be offered remotely via webinar.

 

You may contact the Library by phone at (202) 208-5815 or by e-mail at library@ios.doi.gov for more information about this program.  For information about future DOI Library Training Sessions, we encourage you to visit our Training Sessions website athttp://www.doi.gov/library/programs/training.cfm.

 We hope to see you on August 7th.

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Library of Congress THOMAS Update

Please see the following recent posting to the Law Library In Custodia Legis blog, http://blogs.loc.gov/law/, that highlights the fourth THOMAS update of the year.  

 THOMAS: The Last Update of the Year

December 13, 2010 by Andrew Weber

 This has been an exciting year working on THOMAS.  We started enhancing the site in January on its fifteenth anniversary, expanded some of the improvements in June, and revamped it more during the summer recess.  There’s been some nice press too.

 

Our goal at the start of the year was to roll out four sets of enhancements.  With only a few weeks to spare, we’ve done it.  In this fourth and final update of the year, THOMAS links to GPO Access were converted to FDsys, search was enhanced, more detail was added to the Bill Summary & Status display, and additional metadata was added.  The complete list of enhancements includes:

 

FDsys Links

The Government Printing Office (GPO) is phasing out GPO Access. All GPO Access links in THOMAS have been changed so that they correctly link to the new FDsys website. For example, THOMAS previously linked to GPO for the PDF of bills. Now it links to FDsys.

 

Search Enhancement

The Bill Summary & Status Search results used to be sorted alphabetically so that, e.g., HConRes appeared before HR. Users requested that the most important bill types appear first. Now, the new order will get users to what they want faster and will help THOMAS users find the most important bills from a search.

 

Latest Action

The Bill Summary & Status page will now display the Latest Action (where it differs from Latest Major Action). The Latest Major Action in the Bill Summary & Status display does not always show actions considered important to our data providers.

 

Latest Title

The title on the Bill Summary & Status display is now listed as Latest Title. A bill can have many titles and the Bill Summary & Status component page "Titles" displays all titles of a bill. The title displayed on the Bill Summary & Status was labeled "Title." It was either the most recent official title (if there was no short title) or the most recent short title. Changing it to say "Latest Title" is now more accurate.

 

Cosponsors List

Cosponsors are now listed in a single column. Previously, users had to read across two columns, which was confusing. Now, the new order improves usability and avoids the difficulty that was previously experienced in reading cosponsor names.

 

Metadata Enhancement

Dublin Core meta tags were added to the top level Bill Summary & Status display page. In addition to the previous metadata for bills, there are Dublin Core tags for title, creator (the sponsor in THOMAS), date, identifier (the THOMAS handle), and type (bill type).

 

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Sharon Lenius shared these bookmarks from the beSpecific, March 23, 2010

CRS Legislative Subject Terms Used in THOMAS

"Beginning with the 111th Congress, all legislative measures are assigned at least one Subject term drawn from a new list of terms presented on this page http://thomas.loc.gov/help/terms-subjects.html The Subject terms are designed to better group legislation, to improve consistency, and to shorten the time it takes to add Subject terms to bills. Subject terms can also be assigned from a large list of terms corresponding to geographic areas (foreign and domestic), U.S. government entities, and congressional committees.

See the CRS Named-Entity Subject Terms

http://thomas.loc.gov/help/terms-names.html for a complete list of those terms. Subject term assignment is cumulative; that is, it is added to in order to reflect revisions (if any) made to the measure as it moves through the legislative process."

Source: beSpacific – March 23, 2010

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