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


FR, CFR, and e-CFR

Federal Register (daily)


Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR (Electronic Code of Federal Regulations)

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

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?

Quick Links

Provides free public access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government. Includes some of the most frequently used government information sources. Examples:

  • Congressional Record
  • Congressional bills and laws
  • Federal Register
  • Presidential papers
  • United States Government Manual (1995 to present)
  • United States Statutes at Large

The system was formerly called FDsys

Official government guide to government information and services. Includes links to government agency websites.

Official website for U.S. federal legislative information. Contains information on Members of Congress, calendars of Congressional proceedings, and the legislative process. Presented by the Library of Congress.

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 Congressional 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 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.)

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.

CFR Parts Affected from the Federal Register

Federal Register Legal Citations

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

F.R. can also be written as FR

Reference list or Bibliography

Combine the legal citation with the information required by the citation style you are using.

APA requires the name of the regulation, followed by the legal citation.


Definitions, and Selection Criteria; Race to the Top -- District, 78 FR 47979 (August 6, 2013).

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's picture
Rebecca Knight
Associate librarian
Reference and Instructional Services Department
Morris Library, Room 117H

Subjects: U.S. Government Information,
Delaware, 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.

Parallel Codication of Legislation and Regulations

Illustration of the publishing process of statutes and regulations. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words!


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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