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Georgetown Law Library

Administrative Law Research Guide

This guide outlines the federal administrative process and materials generated.


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Publication of Regulations

A. Federal Register

The Federal Register provides a uniform system for publishing presidential documents, regulatory documents with general applicability and legal effect, proposed and final regulations, notices, and documents required by statute to be published. Proposed and final regulations appear first in the Federal Register. In order for any administrative regulation to be legally effective, it must be published in the Federal Register.

The law library has a complete set of the Federal Register dating back to its beginning in 1936:

Web (Free), (1990 - )
Available in PDF format.

Federal  (1990 - )
Links to content from FDsys, but permits the user to filter by agency, topic, or type of document. Available in PDF format. (current)
One-stop site to comment on proposed federal regulations. Also provides easy access to proposed regulations by agency, topic, or keyword.

Web (Subscription)

HeinOnline, (1936 - )
Full-text searchable. Available in PDF format.

ProQuest Regulatory Insight


Federal Register database, (1936 - )
Access via Explore Content > Federal > Federal Register.


Federal Register - All database, (1936 - )


Williams Media, Cabinets B14-B15 (1936-2004)

Rule 14.2 of the Bluebook sets forth the proper form for citing to the Federal Register. The following is an example of a citation to the Federal Register:

57 Fed. Reg. 18,822 (1992) (to be codified at 16 C.F.R. pt. 456).

B. Code of Federal Regulations

The Code of Federal Regulations is an annual codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register. The CFR is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to federal regulation. Each title is revised once a year and contains the regulations in force at the time of publication. The schedule for publication is:

Titles 1-16 January 1
Titles 17-27 April 1
Titles 28-41 July 1
Titles 42-50 October 1

Title 3 of the CFR contains presidential proclamations, executive orders, and other presidential documents which are required to be published in the Federal Register.

The law library has a full set of the CFR dating back to its beginning in 1938:

Web (Free), (1996 - )
Selected titles back to 1996 and all titles back to 1997. Available in PDF format.

Web (Free)

Currently updated version of the CFR.

Web (Subscription)

HeinOnline, (1938 - )

ProQuest Regulatory Insight


CFR - Code of Federal Regulations database (1981 - )
Access via Explore Content > Federal > CFR - Code of Federal Regulations. If an archived version of a CFR section is available, then a link will appear under About This Document.


Current CFR: Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) database
Previous Years (back to 1984): Code of Federal Regulations - Historical database


Current CFR (KF70 .A3)


Williams Media, Cabinets B12-B13 (1938 - 2004)

Rule 14.2 of the Bluebook sets forth the proper form for citing to the Code of Federal Regulations. The following is an example of a citation to the Code of Federal Regulations:

15 C.F.R. § 8.1 (2011).