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Research Guides in Focus – How to Trace Federal Regulations: A Beginner’s Guide

The following is a guest post by Anna Price, a legal reference librarian at the Law Library of Congress.

Introduction page of How to Trace Federal Regulations: A Beginner's Guide Research Guide

Introduction page of How to Trace Federal Regulations: A Beginner’s Guide Research Guide, //guides.loc.gov/trace-federal-regulations

For this latest installment of Research Guides in Focus, we are presenting an overview of one of the Law Library’s newest additions to our Research Guide collection – How to Trace Federal Regulations: A Beginner’s Guide. The guide begins by introducing readers to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). It gives an overview of its publication schedule and directs researchers to where they may find the CFR online, including the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR) and govinfo.

The guide then offers a brief tutorial on authority notes and source notes. Researchers at the Law Library of Congress frequently wish to read the text of a rule or regulation that was in effect on a certain date. I have found that when they learn how to interpret source notes, they gain an understanding of how rules and regulations differ from legislation and feel empowered to dig into the text on their own. The guide’s background on these features is useful not only for beginners, but also more experienced researchers who want a brief refresher on administrative law.

Finally, the guide instructs readers on how to find rulemaking docket information. It discusses the difference between a regulation identifier number (RIN) and a docket number, how to find these numbers, and how to use them to navigate rulemaking materials with websites like Regulations.gov.

We hope you will find this guide helpful in your research. As always, if you have any questions, please contact us through Ask A Librarian.

A Guide to Chinese Legal Research: Official Online Publication of Chinese Law

A few years ago, I posted a series of Chinese legal research guides on this blog: Who Makes What?, Administrative Regulations and Departmental Rules, and Official Publication of Chinese Law. The first two posts discussed the various types of documents that have the force of law under the Chinese Law on Legislation: laws made by the National People’s Congress […]

Researching New Zealand’s Laws Related to “Doing Business”

On October 31, 2017, the World Bank released the fifteenth edition of its Doing Business report, subtitled “Reforming to Create Jobs.” As with the fourteenth edition, New Zealand was given the highest “ease of doing business” ranking among 190 countries. The report explains that “[t]he overall measure of the ease of doing business gives an […]

A Guide to Researching EU Law

The following is a guest post by Micaela DelMonte, a lawyer from the European Parliamentary Research Service who volunteered at the Law Library of Congress during May 2017. News about Brexit and the so-called Article 50 procedure have dominated the news about the European Union (EU) lately. If you are interested in researching these or […]