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U.S. Government Legal Information: Regulations & Legal Citations


Federal Register (daily)


Code of Federal Regulations

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How do I find the most up-to-date version of a regulation?

Find the regulation in the CFR, then search the FR and LSA. Or, use the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR), a version of the CFR which is updated more frequently.

How do I find regulations for a particular law?

Use the "Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules" in the CFR -- arranged by USC (United States Code) reference. The LSA contains a USC table.

How can I comment on proposed rules?

Go to

How can I get a preview of rules or proposed rules before they are published?

What are Regulations?

Regulations are written by executive agencies to establish the rules and detailed procedures needed to administer the statutory laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. All of these terms are used to describe regulations: rule, administrative law, delegated legislation, and sublegislation. The federal government publishes all regulations in the Federal Register, along with proposed rules, notices, and other materials. The regulations are collected, rearranged by subject, and published in the Code of Federal Regulations.

  • for citizen input on Federal Rulemaking
  • RegInfo for detailed information on the Regulatory process



Sources of Regulations

Federal Register (F.R.)

A legal newspaper published every business day. Contains all federal agency regulations (final rules). Also contains notices, proposed rules, presidential proclamations, executive orders, and public laws. Rules and proposed rules include citations to the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). Arrangement is alphabetically by agency. Monthly and annual indexes (Ref KF70 .A21) are arranged by agency with some general subject references. Published since 1936. The Federal Register is available in several online versions; dates of coverage and searching capabilities differ.

Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.)

The print edition from the Government Printing Office is the official edition of the Code of the Federal Regulations. The CFR is the subject arrangement (codification) of the general and permanent regulations of federal agencies. The regulations are arranged (codified) into 50 subject areas, called "titles." Indexing is by agency with some subject references. The CFR is revised once a year, in a quarterly publication cycle. This Library retains only the most current revision, except for Title 3 (The President) which is retained permanently. The CFR is available in several online versions. Dates of coverage and searching capabilities differ. Note: "title" refers to a subject section of the code.

LSA: List of CFR Sections Affected (L.S.A.)

  • Morris Library - Reference (Ref KF 70 .I52)
  • In GPO FDsys

Numerical listing of changes keyed to CFR parts/sections. Bridges the gap between new rules and the CFR. Arrangement is by date, then CFR titles and section numbers; it cannot be searched by subject. The LSA is necessary if using the print copies of the FR and CFR. The LSA online edition includes: About List of CFR Sections Affected.

Federal Register Legal Citations

The legal citation for a Rule in the Federal Register identifies the volume and page where the rule is published.

Code of Federal Regulations Legal Citations

A citation to a rule in the Code of Federal Regulations identifies the title number, the abbreviation "C.F.R.", the part and/or section number, and the year of the latest revision of the title, in parentheses.

Subject Guide

Rebecca Knight
Associate librarian
Reference and Instructional Services Department
Morris Library, Room 117H
(302) 831-1730

Delaware, U.S. Government Information, census, family studies, RefWorks, APA style, and genealogy.

B.A., History. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 1973.
M.S., Library Science. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 1981.

Common Abbreviations in the Federal Register

N Notice
NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
NOFA Notice of Funding Availability
PR Proposed Rule
Pres Presidential Document
R Rule (Final Rule)
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