IPO User Help

Iowa Publications Online (IPO) is a web-based depository for electronic publications from all agencies of the State of Iowa. The depository is a place for state agencies to store the documents they produce in electronic format that provides high quality searching along with the public access that is statutorily mandated. Electronic documents meant for wide distribution to the public, in particular, reports mandated by state code, should be deposited to IPO.

What is deposited?

IPO currently accepts reports, newsletters and other publications meant for Iowa citizens. File formats accepted are Adobe PDF, HTML, and Microsoft Word. Adobe PDF is the preferred format because of its universal acceptance. When a document is deposited into IPO, the process of approving it will take 5-7 working days. This allows State Library staff to check for accurate metadata of the item. If the document you would like to deposit is an interactive website, database, and/or is not one of the accepted formats, it may not be possible to deposit it at the present time. The IPO team is working to make it possible to deposit and archive other formats of documents in the future. 

Examples of documents included in IPO are:

  • Annual Reports
  • Reports mandated by Iowa Code
  • Statistical Reports
  • Newsletters
  • Other publications meant for Iowa citizens.

Using IPO


Browsing is a good way to access documents if you don't have a specific search topic. There are three ways to browse the archive, by department, subject or by year.

To browse the archive either select Browse on the navigation bar at the top of the screen. Then choose which property you wish to browse by, for example, "subject."

You will be presented with a list of possible “subjects”, select one of these, and you will be given a list of titles  to documents in the archive (if any) which match this value. To access a document, simply click on its link in the display.

When you link to a document, you will be able to see the “subjects” that relate to that document. Clicking on a “subject” link will lead you to other documents with that same “subject”.


The archive offers two levels of searching, simple and advanced. They are similar, but the advanced search form lets you perform a detailed search using more fields. Access the simple search using the Search the Archive link on the front page, or using the navigation bar at the top of the screen. To perform an advanced search, use the advanced search link at the top of the simple search page.

Search Fields

There are four types of search fields on both simple and advanced search forms; text fields, drop down menus, limiting fields, and sort fields. 

  • Text fields
    These are used to search fields like abstract or author. These are fields where you type in the text entry area, and a popup menu is just to the right of it. After you type your search terms into the box, you can decide how the system will use your search terms by selecting one of the options from the popup menu just to the right of the input box. 
  • Drop Down Menus
    With these menus you can select one or more search term(s) from a list of term(s).  If no term in the menu is selected, the system will ignore this field (i.e. it will retrieve records with any term from the menu.) In cases where each individual record may have more than one term attached to the list, you can also change search behavior by selecting "Any of these" or "All of these" from the popup menu on the right of the list.
  • Limiting Fields
    The three types of limiting fields are; Item Type, Date, and Retrieved records must fulfill.  You may use all fields on the advanced search page but not all the fields are available on the simple search page.
    • Item Type:  You may select “Department Report” or “Newsletter”.
    • Date:  When you're searching a date field, you can specify a single year or range of years
      • (1999) retrieves only records where the year is `1999'
      • (1987-1990) retrieves records with years between 1987 and 1990 inclusive
      • (1995-) retrieves records with years of 1995 or later
      • (-1998) retrieves records with years up to and including 1998
    • Retrieved records must fulfill Field: This field can have the choice of matching
      “any of the conditions” or “all of the conditions” previously selected.

Your results can be sorted using the “Sort the results” field.  You sort by; oldest year, recent year or title.


You do not have to register to search, read, download or print any document(s) from the archive.  Registration with this site is only required if you are a state employee tasked with depositing state documents for your agency in IPO.