State paper

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A state paper[1] is a document or file kept by a government to record discussions, options and decisions by government officials, departments and civil servants.[2] Some states follow a thirty year rule whereby state papers on an issue may be released to academic scrutiny thirty years after an original discussion or decision.[3]

State papers are often kept in a country's National Archives, State Paper Office or Public Record Office. All files are numbered using an alphanumeric code which academics may use as a reference in footnotes of books.

Some state papers are embargoed for reasons of national security or other sensitive reasons.

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