Research Guides

Successful Summer Strategies: Research in the Real World

Sources for Federal Administrative Research

Print Sources

CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations), the topical compilation of federal regulations currently in force, can be searched via its own official subject index, published in the last volume of the set, or via the unofficial subject index published as part of the U.S. Code Service (U.S.C.S.) Both indices also contain a table that provides cross-references from U.S. Code sections to C.F.R. sections promulgated under that statutory authority.

The Federal Register (the daily publication that contains proposed and final new and amended regulations), has indexing available; it is also often used in conjunction with the LSA (List of Sections Affected) to locate pending or final changes to existing regulations.

Electronic Sources

Lexis and Westlaw:

Both Lexis and Westlaw provide the current full text of C.F.R. and the Federal Register. Both systems also contain superseded versions of C.F.R. back to the early 1980s in separate databases/sources. Federal Register coverage goes back to 1980 on both systems. On both systems, an alternative to searching the full text of C.F.R. and/or F.R. is to search the versions available in the specialized "area of practice" sources/databases. Because these contain only the titles pertinent to a particular area of law, search with caution in order to avoid missing relevant material.

Internet:

The GPO (Government Printing Office) Access site provides search and updating capability for both the C.F.R. and Federal Register. GPO Access permits searching for regulations by citation or subject and includes the parallel authorities table in which cross references from U.S.C. citations to accompanying regulations in the C.F.R. may be found. This web site can be used for updating regulations without incurring the costs associated with Lexis and Westlaw. It also offers a daily browsing function for the Federal Register.

Agency web sites may include statutes and regulations relating to the activities of the agency. Be aware, however, that some such sites do not provide sufficient information as to the source or currency of the information provided. Lists of federal agencies with links to their web sites may be found at:

For further information on techniques for locating and updating federal agency materials, consult the TMLL Guide to Legal Research: "Locating and Updating Federal Administrative Materials";"Highlights of Bluebook Form for Federal Administrative Sources"; and "Federal Law Resources."


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