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Researching Federal Regulations

This guide is designed to acquaint the user with federal case law, statutes, regulations, and legislative histories, how to locate those sources, and how to navigate them.


The C.F.R. is a codification of the final rules published in the Federal Register by executive departments and agencies of the federal government. The C.F.R. is organized into fifty titles representing broad areas subject to regulation. The fifty titles are similar to, but the sames as, the titles in the U.S. Code. Each titles is divided into chapters usually bearing the name of the issuing agency. At the back of each C.F.R. volume is an Alphabetical List of Agencies Appearing in the C.F.R., showing the title and chapter where an agency's regulations are codified. Each chapter is further subdivided into parts which covering specific regulatory areas. Large parts may be subdivided into subparts; all parts are organized in sections, and most citations to the C.F.R. will be provided at the section level.

Much of the information published in the Final Rules & Regulations section of the Federal Register is not printed in the C.F.R. but may still be of great importance. Specifically, information such as summary, effective date, address for further information contact and supplementary information are only available in the Federal Register.

What the C.F.R. Contains

Cover and title page: Title topic and number, the parts contained in the pamphlet, and the revision date of the pamphlet.

Table of Contents: Chapters and finding aids contained in the pamphlet

This Title: Brief description of how the titles is organized

Table of Contents: At the beginning of each part showing the sections contained in the part

Authority Note: Provides a citation for the statutory or executive authority under which the regulations in the part were promulgated; located at the the start of each part

Source Note: In the front of each part providing the Federal Register cite and date where th part was last published in full (a separate source note will follow a section if it is based on a different authority or was added or amended later)

Cross Reference Note: Citations to related C.F.R. parts and sections

Finding Aids: At the end of the pamphlet which includes: Material Approved for Incorporation by Reference; Table of C.F.R. Titles and Chapters; Alphabetical List of Agencies Appearing in the C.F.R.; Re-designation Tables; List of C.F.R. Sections Affected

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