Classes by Publication Type

This section covers publications that receive special treatment by way of a word, an abbreviation, or other descriptive text that may be added to the end of the classification number. See Additions to Book Numbers for more general information about words and abbreviations in the suffix.

In many cases, a catalog record will already include references to the publication type in the title or other field and will describe a document as a correction, errata, preliminary report, or other type of publication. This may affect whether the classification number includes the publication type, or whether it is even necessary or advisable to add the type to the number. The following guidelines are designed to assist in assigning the most useful classification number.

For guidance on publication types such as supplements, indexes, or special issues of serials, see the article on Continuing Resources.


A corrected copy of a whole publication is given the class of the original publication with /CORR. added at the end:

Additional corrections to the same publication take the format /CORR.-2, /CORR.-3, and so on.


Classification of errata sheets for publications depends on how they were issued by the agency or received by GPO.

  • A separately issued errata sheet is classified the same as the parent document with the addition of /ERRATA.
  • Loose errata sheets contained in a publication at time of receipt should be classified as a separate document with the addition of /ERRATA.
  • An errata sheet that is a bound page in a document requires no action.
  • A separately issued errata whose parent publication has not been received should not be classified.

Preliminary, Draft, and Final Reports

When classifying a preliminary or draft report, /PRELIM. or /DRAFT may be added at the end of the class:

When the final edition is received, use the same class without the /PRELIM. or /DRAFT. 


A reprint is a new printing of an item made from the original type image. The printing may reproduce the original exactly or may contain slight variations, such as changes in names of officials or date of printing. The changes are often inconsequential and are not major revisions to the text or content of the document. If there are questions, contact the agency to confirm it is a reprint.

In most cases, reprints are not classified if the original has already been classified. However, if the original has not been received in the FDLP or Cataloging & Indexing but a reprint has, the latter will be classed. Add a /YEAR to known reprints, e.g. /2017. Reprints from non-Government publications issued by Government agencies are classified in the general publications or other appropriate classes and are not treated as separates.

Preprints and Separates

A preprint is a portion of a publication issued in advance of the completed publication. A separate is a reprint of an individual article from a Government publication. Classes for preprints are limited to U.S. Government publications. Preprints of Federal publications that are within the FDLP scope will generally not be cataloged when a final version is available for free public access on a Federal Government website or distributed in print. If a preprint is the only version freely publicly accessible, the publication will be cataloged and classified using the general classification guidelines for Federal publications. Do not add /PREPRINT to the end of the class.

There are exceptions to the general rule that preprints and separates available in final and/or compiled versions will not be cataloged and classified. In these cases the class number for the preprint or separate is attached to the class of the parent publication by use of a slash and a letter.

The daily Congressional record is treated as a preprint of the bound edition for classification purposes.

Summaries and Executive Summaries

Summaries of various kinds, executive or otherwise, for monographic publications are classified by adding an appropriate abbreviation such as /SUM. or /EXEC.SUM. at the end of the class. However, if the entire publication including the summary is classified and cataloged, then a separately issued identical summary is not cataloged. 

NF 2.2:AR 7/19/EXEC.SUM.          Artists in the workforce, 1990-2005 : executive summary

If a summary is connected by numbering to a serial, such as no. 13 of a monthly, or no. 5 of a quarterly, etc., then assign it the same classification number as the serial, and treat it as part of the serial.

Electronic Products

Electronic Products is a general category class established under some agencies as needed. Compact discs (CDs, CD-ROMs), digital video discs (DVDs, DVD-ROMs), and accompanying printed technical documentation are classed here. Add a slash and a designation to show the format of materials. The designations are /CD for a compact disc and /DVD for a digital video disc.

HE 1.60:                     Electronic Products (Health and Human Services Department)
HE 1.60:B 87/DVD Stop bullying now!

Add a slash and a designation to show the format of related materials in classes that contain a variety of materials and titles. The designations are /CD for a CD-ROM and /DVD for a digital video disc.

Sets with Multiple Publication Types

Publications with a common title that make up a set may consist of different types of material, such as a report with an accompanying map and a supplemental DVD. Another set with a common title but no volume numbers may include a bibliography, a manual, a report, and a chart.

In these cases, decide which publication is the main publication, and classify it in the appropriate class. Assign the class for the main publication to the other publications, adding a slash and a word or standard abbreviation for the other publication types at the end of the class.

In any kit, toolkit, packet, or package, use /KIT or /TOOLKIT for a variety of types of materials, and use /PACKET or /PACKAGE for a collection of items that are predominantly paper.

If the publications have similar titles but are not issued as a set, classify the publications separately, each in its appropriate class.

In the case of a report accompanied by a map, classify the report in its appropriate class. Use the same number as assigned to the report for the map and add /MAP at the end of the class. Do not classify a map in a Maps class if it is part of a set, or is to be used with another publication. See the section on Cartographic Resources for more information.


Superintendent of Documents Classification Guidelines

Introduction to the Classification Guidelines
The Classification System: A Brief History
Structure of the Classification Number
Sorting in SuDocs Order
Example of a SuDocs Sort
Class Stems
Letter Author Symbols
New Agency Classes
Joint Publications from Different Agencies
Publications Prepared by One Agency for Another
Serials with Changing Publishers
Joint Publications Issued in Series
Subordinate Offices
First and Second Levels
Assignment of Classes
Third and Fourth Levels
Joint Publications from Different Subagencies
Name Changes and Reorganizations
Category Classes
Most Frequently Used Category Classes
.1 - Annual reports
.2 - General publications
.8 - Handbooks, manuals, and guides
.11 - Maps and Charts
.12 - Posters
Less Frequent Category Classes
.3 - Bulletins
.4 - Circulars
.5 - Laws
.6 - Regulations, rules, and instructions
.7 - Press releases
.9 - Bibliographies and Lists of Publications
.10 - Directories
.13 - Forms
.14 - Addresses
Cutter Numbers
Cutter Table and Its Use
Filing Order for Cutter Numbers
Slash Numbers
Selecting Cutter Words
Words to Avoid when Cuttering
Sets With a Collective Title
Foreign Language Editions
Numbers in Titles
Cuttering Acronyms and Initialisms
Cuttering: Geographic Topics
Cuttering Related Documents Covering the Same Subject but Different
General Subjects and Geographic Terms
Cuttering Geographic Terms Using Personal Names
Cuttering Multi-Part Geographic Names
State Cutter Numbers
State Cutter Numbers Table
Additions to Book Numbers
Year Format
Dates for Revised Editions
Punctuation in Dates or Date Ranges
Volume, Part, Chapter, and Section Numbers
Volume Number and Date: Which Comes First?
Volume Number Followed by Date
Date Followed by Volume Number
Words and Abbreviations
Foreign-language Publications
Multiple Word Phrases in a Suffix
Multiple Versions of a Publication
Corrected Copies of Numbered Volumes
Standard Abbreviations and Words
State Abbreviations
Classes by Publication Type
Preliminary, Draft, and Final Reports
Preprints and Separates
Summaries and Executive Summaries
Electronic Products
Sets with Multiple Publication Types
Monographic Series
Identifying a Monographic Series
Assigning New Series Classes
Series Related to Existing Classes by Subject
Structure of the Series Class
Departmental Series vs. Bureau Series
Series Book Numbers
Series Numbering
Unusual Series Numbering
Series Numbering and Revised Editions
Numbering system changes
Two series on one publication
Series number vs. Agency control number
Letters and Phrases Appearing on Publications
Volumes, Parts, or Sections
Publications Which Are Not Serials or Series
Multipart Monographs versus Series
Other Situations
Continuing Resources
Identifying a Continuing Resource
Integrating Resources
Assigning New Continuing Resource Classes
Works Related to Category Classes
Works Related to Existing Classes by Subject
New Classes to Reflect Changes for Existing Serials
Serials within Series: Separate Class Approach
Serials with a Constant Series Number
Cuttering a Serial or, When Not to Establish a New Class Stem for a Serial
Serials within Series: Cuttering Approach
Publications of Short Duration
Other cases for Cuttering
Serials Designation
Number 1 for First Month Appears Annually
Date incorporated in Series Number
Volume and Number
Annual Publications
Semiannual Publications
Publications Issued Three or More Times a Year
Variations in Publication Cycles
Release Date vs. Coverage Date
Special Issues of Serials
Frequently Revised Monographs Cataloged as Serials
Presidential Publications
Presidential Committees and Commissions
Presidential Commissions vs Presidential Initiatives
Permanent Agencies Reporting to the President
Vice President of the United States
Congressional and Legislative Branch Publications
Y 4. - Congressional Committee Publications
Constructing the Committee Designation
Reorganized Committees and Name Changes
Y 4. Committee Print or Y 1. Report?
Joint Hearings
Publications Prepared by One Committee for the Use of Another
Individual Book Numbers
House Book Numbers
Numbered and Unnumbered Documents in One Class
Senate Book Numbers
Cutter Numbers
Multipart Works
Errors in Numbering on Publications
Y 1.-: - Congress as a Whole, House and Senate as a Whole
Individual Book Numbers
House and Senate Documents and Reports
Y 1.1/2: - U. S. Congressional Serial Set
Y 1.2/5: - United States Code
Boards, Commissions, and Independent or Temporary Committees Established by Congress
Boards, Commissions, and Committees Established within the Executive Branch
Executive Branch Independent Agencies with Limited Duration or Publishing Output
Y 3. - Boards, Commissions, and Independent or Temporary Committees
Agency Designations
Category and Series Designations
Related Series or Subjects
Individual Book Numbers
Y 3.2: - Limited Boards, Commissions, and Independent Committees
Y 4.2: and Y 4.3: - Select and Special Committees (As Appointed)
Y 9. - Speeches
Y 10: and Y 11: - Subordinate Offices
X 1.1: - Congressional Record
XJH: and XJS: - House and Senate Journals
Y and X General Issues
Serial Publications
Star Prints
U.S. Participation in International Organizations
Cartographic Resources
Category Classes for Maps and Charts
General Rules
U.S. Geological Survey Maps
Map Reference Numbers
Northwest (NW) Quadrant
Northeast (NE) Quadrant
Southwest (SW) Quadrant
Southeast (SE) Quadrant
Edition Date
Bureau of Land Management Maps
U.S. Forest Service Maps
Revision Dates
National Ocean Service Nautical Charts
Map Types
Classification Guidelines for Digital Reproductions
Classification by Type of Digital Reproduction

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Questions on the GPO-specific practices outlined in the guidelines should be submitted via askGPO. Please indicate "Classification Guidelines" in the subject area.