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Finding Federal Statutes, Regulations, and Related Cases

Finding a Regulation by Topic

You can also search for regulations topically by using one of the following methods:

  • You can consult books and articles (i.e., secondary sources) on your topic to see if they discuss any relevant regulations.
  • The print C.F.R. contains an index at the end of the set. If you find your topic in the index, it will tell you which C.F.R. title(s) and part(s) to look up in the set.
  • You can search via the Nexis Uni Federal Statutes, Codes & Regulations search page, as described in the discussion of searching for statutes by topic. Make sure the "CFR - Code of Federal Regulations" source is selected in the Sources box.
  • Both the E-CFR and FDSys websites can also be used to search for regulations by keyword. However, the search options on these two websites are more limited than the options on LexisNexis Academic:
    • The e-CFR website has two "Advanced Search" options, including a "Proximity" search option, which allows you to specify that your terms must be near each other in each document. However, there is no effective term OR connector (for synonyms) on this website, and you are limited in the number of terms and phrases you can include in each search.
    • On GovInfo, select “Advanced Search” to the center of the search box. To search the C.F.R., select Code of Federal Regulations in the center "Refined by Collection" section.  Type your search terms into the search box on the right of the page. Within the search box, you can use AND, OR, and other connectors to clarify the relationship between your search terms.  For example, if you want to search for the word discrimination within 20 words of the word race, you would use the following search:

♦  discrimination near/20 race

You may broaden the search by searching for the words sex or race:

♦  discrimination near/20 (race OR sex)

If you want to specify that the term race or sex should be within 20 words before the term discrimination, use the connector before/#:

♦  (race OR sex) before/20 discrimination

More information about searching on FDSys is available by clicking “Help” at the bottom of the Advanced Search screen.

On both E-CFR and GovInfo, you should place double quotes around exact phrases (e.g., "social security"). The truncation symbol on both of these sites is the asterisk (e.g., discriminat*).