Character position definition and scope:

A one-character alphabetic code that indicates whether or not the item is published or produced by or for an international, national, state, provincial, or local government agency, or by any subdivision of such a body.  The code also describes the jurisdictional level of the government agency associated with the item.

A government body and all its subdivisions are treated as government bodies regardless of how they may be entered as headings (i.e., entered under jurisdiction or not).  In the bibliographic record, the body does not have to be a main or added entry, but it should be named as publisher, etc. in the publication, distribution, etc. area, or have caused the item to be published (usually inferred when the governmental body is responsible for the content of the work).  When in doubt, treat the item as a government publication.

A fill character ( | ) is used when no attempt has been made to code this 008 position.

Record requirements for National-level records:  Mandatory; for Minimal-level records:  Optional.

Guidelines for applying content designators:

Guidelines for Certain Types of Publications

Codes, Descriptions, Examples:




Not a government publication


Autonomous or semi-autonomous component






International intergovernmental






Government publication - level undetermined  Item is published or produced by or for a government body but the jurisdictional level cannot be determined.


State, provincial, territorial, dependent, etc.


Unknown if item is government publication


Other  Type of government publication for which none of the other defined codes are appropriate.


No attempt to code

Content designator history:

Prior to 2015, university press publications were included as examples of government publications.

Code n (Government publication - level undetermined) is obsolete.  Prior to 1979, an undetermined level was identified by code n; code o is currently used.

See also:

006 and 008:  Books

006 and 008:  Cross Reference Tables by Type of Material

006/01-17:  Character Positions by Type of Material

006  Fixed-Length Data Elements - Additional Material Characteristics

008/00-39:  Character Positions by Type of Material

008  Fixed-Length Data Elements