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This guide provides a basic introduction to U.S. legal research and to primary legal resources in the United States. Comparative and foreign research guides are also included.


Regulations and administrative law refer to the regulations and federal policy set forth by federal and state agencies.  Similar to statutes, regulations are published chronologically and then codified into a subject-based code of regulations.  Agency rules and policy have the force of law similar to acts of legislative bodies.  Regulations are found in the Federal Register, which is a dailey journal of the workings of the U.S. federal government.  Regulations are distilled off of the Federal Register and are found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).  Both are available online through government sites and also via HeinOnline.


The CFR contains 50 titles.  Each title represents a federal agency or department; and the particular agency is indicated in the "Authority" note in each title.  Following this note is a Source note which indicates the regulation's source in the Federal Register.  To locate the codified version of a regulation:

1.  Use the CFR Index and Finding Aids volume, which is the official index for the entire set.


2.  Use the CFR in HeinOnline (below) by selecting the "field" option when searching by subject.  For example, "pesticides" brings up many relevant regulations dealing with the regulations of pest control in agriculture.

3.  Use the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules to find the rulemaking auhtority for regulations.  Cross references are provided to the United States Code, United States Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents.

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