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Cite Checking Guide for Law Reviews & Publication: Regulatory Materials

Federal Regulations

Regulations appear in two official publications: the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations

The Federal Register publishes chronologically, among other things, proposed new federal regulations, proposed changes to existing regulations, and the final version of the new regulations.  It is a daily publication that has continuous pagination throughout the year.  Example: 56 Fed. Reg. 50,379

The Code of Federal Regulations publishes the text of the regulations currently in force.  The C.F.R. arranges the regulations by subject across fifty titles and is published annually.  Example:  7 C.F.R. § 3.1

Federal Register

The official, online version is available at FDsys.gov, which adds the current Federal Register each day by 6:00 a.m. 

PDF: HeinOnline (entire set)

Print: Eckstein Law Library, first floor and archives.  Previous two years on first floor; usually about two weeks behind in currency.  Call Number: KF 70.A2

Code of Federal Regulations

Official, electronic version of the C.F.R. is available at FDsys.gov.  Must be updated to current day using the Federal Register.  Ask for help if you need it!

PDF: HeinOnline (entire set)

Print: Eckstein Law Library, first floor and archives.  Current edition on first floor; archives back to 2003 edition.  Call Number: KF 70.A1

NOTE: The Government Publication Office (GPO) has begun to install the materials in FDsys on a new, improved site, GovInfo.gov.  The new site has an easier search format,  presents results with post-filtering options, and will eventually replace FDsys. Official, PDF versions of the C.F.R. and the Federal Register are available on GovInfo.gov.  Here is a link to the Beta version:   https://www.govinfo.gov/  

FDsys.gov remains completely accessible, too.

How to Update a Federal Regulation

1) Use the official CFR, either in print, or in PDF from the FDsys.gov website. Locate your regulation. Check the cover of the CFR volume or look at the top of every other page to find the “revised as of” date. You must update your regulation from that date forward. Depending upon the CFR title you are updating, you might only need to update for a month, or possibly up to a full year.
  
2) Next, check the LSA: List of CFR Sections Affected. The LSA is a monthly print pamphlet that is also available in PDF on the FDsys CFR main page (look in the left margin).  In the LSA, CFR titles and sections are listed in a table, in chronological order, with corresponding Federal Register citations for any amendments.
The LSA cumulates every month. You need only examine the most recent month to find all changes to your regulation since the last version in the official CFR volume, through the month of the most recent LSA. Federal Register pages will be cited in the LSA if there have been changes. If so, go to the cited volume and page in the Federal Register and read the text of the updated regulation there.  

3) At that point, you still have a gap from the last day of the most current completed LSA month, to the present day. Go to the Federal Register for last day of the month(s) beyond the LSA range. Check for your CFR citation in the CFR Parts Affected, located in Reader’s Aids, in the back pages of the FR, to fill the coverage gap after the most recent LSA. Usually, that means just the current month must be checked.  

For example: If you are updating a regulation on November 15th, and have checked the LSA for October, you need to look at the Reader's Aids in the November 15th Federal Register.  It will list citations for any changes to regulations made from Nov. 1-15. If changes to your regulation in November are cited, go to the daily Federal Registers for those citations to find the amended text.  E.g., if 82 FR 12345 is cited in Reader's Aids, that is page 12345 of volume 82 of the Federal Register.  

FDsys.gov has the Federal Register in PDF up through the current business day.  Each daily Federal Register has a Reader's Aids section in the back that updates CFR changes cumulatively for the current month. 

THE FEDERAL REGISTER IS OFFICIAL AND CURRENT TO THE PRESENT DAY. 

Agency Decisions

Unlike the publication of court decisions, publication of agency decisions is diffuse.  Some agency decisions will be available in print in the library and others will be available only on the Internet.  And not all agency decisions will be easy to locate. 

Federal

PDF: Federal agencies increasingly post decisions to their websites. Check the agency website for PDF versions of decisions.  The University of Virginia Library provides links to repositories of agency decisions by agency and by subject.  Selected agency decisions are available from HeinOnline and LLMC Digital.

Print:  Official agency publications resemble standard court reporters.  See the list of United States official administrative publications in Table T.1 of the Bluebook and then look for the title in MARQCAT.

State

PDF:  State agencies may post decisions to their websites. Check the agency website for PDF versions of decisions.  Using your favorite search engine, check the Internet for the agency website.  Once on the agency website, look for a decisions or determinations section.  The State of Wisconsin website has an alphabetical listing of Wisconsin state agencies with links to agency websites.

Print: The library carries a few selected Wisconsin agency decisions in print.  Search MARQCAT using terms from the agency name.

State Regulations

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Administrative Register

Example: 540 Wis. Admin. Reg. 29

 Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau website (1956-present) 

Print:  Eckstein Law Library, first floor.  Call Number: KFW 2434.5.A37 (2013 & 2014 are on the shelves). The print version ceased publication after January 1, 2015 and is available online only, via the WI Legislative Reference Bureau website. There are no PDFs for Registers after 2014.

If you need a PDF for an older Wisconsin Administrative Register, these are available on the state website for Registers through 2014.  You will see an opportunity to convert the HTML version to a PDF once you open a single Register. 

Wisconsin Administrative Code

Example: Wis. Admin. Code ATCP § 11.06 (2016).  ATCP refers to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, which is the Wisconsin agency responsible for the regulation.  

Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau website (current version, and older versions in the Archive)

Print: Eckstein Law Library, first floor Ready Reference wall.  Call Number: KFW 2434.5.A36a (current version)

Note:  The library maintains a collection of superseded administrative code provisions. If the cited provision is not in the curent code, ask a reference librarian for assistance with tracking it down in what are called the "Replaced Pages". 

Other States

The library does not purchase administrative registers or codes from other states.  Check state government websites to see if they are available in PDF.  The Law Librarians' Society of Washington D.C. maintains a list of links to state administrative codes. (coverage varies by state)

Agency Documents

Federal

PDF: Federal agencies may post documents on their websites.  The University of Virginia Library provides links to government information, including agency documents.  WashLaw provides a list of agency websites with information regarding the types of documents available on each of the websites.  The Louisiana State University Libraries has compiled a Federal Agency Directory that provides easy access to agency websites.  The Catalog of Government Publications from the Government Printing Office serves as a finding tool for current and historical government publications and provides direct links to publications available on the Internet.

Print and Microfiche:  Some federal agency documents may be available in the library.  Search MARQCAT for the document, using keywords from the agency name and the document title. 

State

PDF:  State agencies may post documents to their websites. Check the agency website for PDF versions.  Using your favorite search engine, check the Internet for the agency website.  Once on the agency website, look for a documents, publications or reports section.  The State of Wisconsin website has an alphabetical listing of Wisconsin state agencies with links to agency websites.

Print:  The library carries a few selected Wisconsin agency documents in print.  Search MARQCAT using terms from the agency name and the document title.

Need Help?

Reference librarians

are available to assist you

In Person:  1st Floor Reference Desk

Phone:       414-288-3837

Email:        via web form

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