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Federal Law & Government Documents: Agency Materials

This guide provides information about researching federal law and government documents.

About Agency Materials on the Web

This page identifies free Internet resources that include agency materials. 

There also are licensed databases with these materials, such as Westlaw, Lexis, and Hein Online.  Access to these materials is limited to members of the Loyola community and in some cases the law school.  To get to the licensed databases with agency materials, go to Databases, then Agency Materials.

Federal Register on the Web

Federal Register (FR)
The Federal Register includes proposed agency regulations, notices for public comment, and final regulations.  It is published daily Monday-Friday, except holidays.  You can access it for free at the following websites.

FDSys (Official)
The Federal Register on the Government Printing Office website www.fdsys.gov is available as a pdf of the official print version.  Coverage begins in 1994 to most current daily issue. 

Federalregister.gov
Website of the Federal Register, including links to current issue and notices, proposed rules, final rules, and presidential documents.

Code of Federal Regulations on the Web

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
The CFR contains the final regulations.  It is organized into 50 titles corresponding to particular subjects.  The official CFR is updated once per year.  You can access it for free at the following websites.

FDSys (Official)
Website from Government Printing Office providing all 50 titles with pdf of official print version.  Coverage from 1996 (some titles) to current print version.   

eCFR
Unofficial updated version of the CFR from the Government Printing Office.  Includes Federal Register updates since the last printing of the CFR.   

Tracking Regulations

The following websites allow you to search proposed and final rules.

Regulations.gov
Government site provides searching of agency notices, proposed rules, public submissions, and final rules.  Also allows for submission of comments to proposed rules.  Searchable by various means, including keyword, agency, open or closed comment periods, and type of document.  Includes pdf of official version in Federal Register.

Federalregister.gov
Website of the Federal Register, including links to current issue and notices, proposed rules, final rules, and presidential documents.

 

Administrative Decisions, Manuals, etc.

To obtain administrative decisions or other publications, you should try the agency website.  If you are unsure of the agency or its website, the website below provides links to various agency sites with this type of information.

Administrative Decisions and Other Actions
This website from the University of Virginia is searchable by agency or subject.  It includes links to FOIA reading rooms, agency decisions, agency manuals, and other agency publications, where available.

Finding Agency Information

A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies
Alphabetical list at USA.gov site of government departments and agencies, with links to agency websites.

Internet and Online Sources of U.S. Legislative and Regulatory Information
Research guide for identifying and comparing licensed databases and free Internet sources for legislative and regulatory materials. Provided by the Law Librarias' Society of Washington, D.C., Inc.

Researching Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff
Research guide for identifying and locating federal legislative and regulatory materials. Provided by the Congressional Research Service.

Federal Administrative Law: A Brief Overview
Research guide providing links to major federal agency websites, information on laws and where to find agency rulemaking, administrative laws, terminology, websites for researching agency rules, guidelines, orders, and a list of administrative law treatises. Provided by Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C.

Subject Guide