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Code of Federal Regulations and Federal Register Research Guide

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is a compilation, by subject and agency, of U.S. administrative regulations of general application currently in force. It is arranged in 50 titles roughly corresponding to the U.S. Code.

The Federal Register is the daily publication of U.S. government agency rules and regulations intended to have general application and legal effect.

Code of Federal Regulations

The Code of Federal Regulations (AE 2.106/3:) is located in the U.S. Government Documents section of the library.

  • Title 1 – 16 revised as of January 1
  • Title 17 – 27 revised as of April 1
  • Title 28 – 41 revised as of July 1
  • Title 42 – 50 revised as of October 1

Note: Always be aware of the date on any materials you are using. Be sure to update completely. See below for instructions on updating the C.F.R.

The C.F.R. publishes a single annual volume called the C.F.R. Index and Finding Aid. This index provides subject access to the C.F.R. sections. There is also a Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules which allows you to look-up C.F.R. sections by code title number.

Another way to find the section of the C.F.R. you are looking for is to use the United States Code Annotated (U.S.C.A) (Ref. KF 62 .W45) and the United States Code Service (U.S.C.S.) (Ref. KF 62 .L38). Both List citations to the C.F.R. in the annotations after each code section. Therefore, if you are already working with a federal law, the easiest way to locate the regulations that will implement the law is to use one of the annotated codes.

Federal Register

On a daily basis, federal regulations are published chronologically in the Federal Register. In addition to regulations, the Federal Register includes presidential documents, proposed regulations, and notices.

The Federal Register is located in paper at AE 2.106:70/ in the Government Documents section of the Library.

An index to the Federal Register is published monthly and is cumulated for 12 months. This index is arranged primarily by agency.

Twice each year the Council issues the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations as a supplementary part of the Federal Register. The Unified Agenda is a comprehensive and continually updated catalog of important federal regulations under development. Since 1983, the Unified Agenda has appeared in the Federal Register twice each year. To locate it, look for the multi-volume set of the FR issued in April and/or October. Recently, the Unified Agenda has been issued in December and June.

Using the Code of Federal Regulations and the Federal Register

Determine what section of the Code of Federal Regulations contains the law you want. Look up the section you want, and note the revision date on the front cover.

Consult the most recent monthly List of C.F.R. Sections Affected (LSA) pamphlet to see if your C.F.R. section is listed. If there has been a change the LSA will refer you to the page numbers in the Federal Register where the change appears.

Consult the last issue of the month of the Federal Register for each complete month since the month on the cover of the LSA pamphlet. Check "C.F.R. Parts Affected During" table near the back of the issue. This table cumulates through the month so you need to check the last issue for each month.

Finally, consult the most recent issue of the Federal Register available and check the "C.F.R. Parts Affected During" table near the back.


Code of Federal Regulations: has Code sections from 1996 to the present. The default search assumes you want to search only the most current C.F.R.

Federal Register: provides searching of documents from 1994 to the present. Sections can be viewed in text format or PDF.

Hein Online Federal Register Library: Available for Washburn University faculty, staff, and students this reaource provides PDF copies of the Federal Register from 1936 to the present, and PDF copies of the Code of Federal Regulations from 1938-1983.

Unified Agenda: contains listings of regulations to be implemented. The archive of this database begins in 1994.

Federal Register: What it is and How to Use it: A guide to help you navigate the Federal Register.

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