I am being asked to list the publisher location / state as part of an annotated bibliography for a research class. However, this book I feel has two publishers.

Here is what the libraries online system shows were it mentions publishers

Publisher, Date:
Rockville, MD : U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General ; Washington, DC : For sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O., 2010.

So far I have 2 possible options I have thought up.

A: This post has two publishers - The US Dept. of Health and Human Services which is located in Rockville, MD; Also, the other publisher which is The Office of the Surgeon General which is located in Washington, DC.

B: I only list Washington DC as the main publisher.

Another thing I am confused about is the " Public Health Service" they listed. I feel that is the first part of "Office of the Surgeon General" causing the second publisher to be "Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General".

  • 1
    Please provide a scan of the title and copyright page of that book. If you cannot (why? how do you cite a book you haven't read?) at least provide the author(s) or editor(s) and book title.
    – user5645
    Commented Feb 22, 2015 at 10:09

1 Answer 1


In this situation you would use the Washington, DC location because it is the location of the Government Publishing Office (GPO) which handles the physical publication of all government documents. The Superintendent of Documents is the federal administrator responsible for the GPO and that is why you found the "for sale" info.

You can find a catalog of all government publications put out by the GPO on their website - Superintendent of Documents - but you are absolutely correct to list only the one publisher with the Washington, DC location.

Here is an excellent guide to citing government documents from Indiana University - Guide: Citing U.S. Government Publications. Most of the time the info on this site will be enough to point the way but remember that no system, regardless of what a professor might imply, has a comprehensive citation format for every source type. The important thing is to follow the basic format for your citation style and provide enough information so that a researcher can easily find the document you are citing.

Good Luck!

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