Abstract Official publications are aimed towards editing and spreading the messages created by governments and other bodies of the public domain. At the beginning, the aim of this activity is twofold: on the one hand, fulfilling the principle of publicity of the norms, as it constitutes a basis for the efficiency of those, and, on the other hand, fulfilling a general function of information about the activities of public authorities. As the action of government generalises, this function of communication between those governing and those governed has extended to other fields of activity, thus, free and pay materials, both printed and electronic, are published. With regard to the traditional concept of official publications, the Internet has produced a radical change: today, the Web is the first information channel of the governments and public institutions. Therefore, it is urgent to decide how is the Internet to exercise these functions and “to think” what role we give to traditional official publications and to the new information systems. Moreover, the Internet makes transparency of public sector management easier, and makes governments become the major producers of information in their area of influence, from the smallest municipality to the most complex State. This article shows the results of a piece of research aimed at approaching the Spanish reality by means of the analysis of official publications edited in Spain between 2002 and 2005. The authors put the results in line with the recommendations of UNESCO to favour the fact that official information produced by electronic means might be a factor for the transparency of public authorities and the promotion of democratic ideals (equality, democracy and free access), not to mention other positive factors of an economic nature.

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