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LRAW Research Spring 2023

Federal Regulations: Searching by Citation & Table of Contents

Citation 

To retrieve a federal regulation by citation in Westlaw or Lexis, type the citation into the search box at the top of the page and hit Enter or click on the search icon. 

 

Table of Contents 

There may be more than one section relevant to your legal issue. To browse the other sections in that Part, select the Table of Contents: 

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In Westlaw, you can also use the arrows next to the Table of Contents button to view sections before and after a regulation; in Lexis, you can also use the Previous and Next links to view sections before and after a regulation. Another way to access the Table of Contents from an individual regulation is to use the links provided in the caption above that regulation to browse its Title, Chapter and Part.

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In Westlaw, click on the References and Annotations link at the beginning of the Table of Contents for that Part to find that Part’s statutory authority and source;

OR scroll down below the text of the regulation.


In Lexis, to find a Part’s statutory authority and source, scroll down or select Statutory Authority or History on the left side of the screen.

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NOTE that Lexis provides different Source citations for the Federal Register where the CFR was originally published or where it was amended or changed than is contained in Westlaw.  This is one reason that you should consult multiple resources, and in the case of Federal Regulations, govinfo.gov and eCFR might be more reliable resources.

Federal Regulations: Searching by Subject

Searching by Subject


Annotation to a Statute 

You may be able to use the annotations to a statute to identify related regulations.

In Westlaw, use the Citing References tab to find regulations that cite your statute and use the search within results filter to narrow your results.  

Also, check the Context & Analysis tab for regulations that Westlaw has selected as relevant to the subject of a statute.

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In Lexis, scroll down to the Annotations or select Research References and Practice Aids from the left side of the page. Related citations will be listed under “Code of Federal Regulations.” 

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You should also check the Shepard’s Report in Lexis to locate other relevant regulations. Click the “Shepardize this document” link, and then select the Other Citing Sources tab. You can filter your results by type of content to view only relevant regulations. You may also search for keywords within your results.

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Index 

To access the subject index for the Code of Federal Regulations in Westlaw, choose Federal Materials and Code of Federal Regulations. Then select the link for the Code of Federal Regulations Index from the sidebar on the right, under Federal Regulations.

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You can browse or search the CFR index. To browse, choose a letter from the links across the top of the page and scroll down or use a Control or Command-F search to find a specific index term. Select that term to view a list of related topics and subtopics. Choose the citation link next to a topic to view that regulation. To search the CFR Index, simply enter your search terms in the search box at the top and select the search icon.

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To access the subject index for the Code of Federal Regulations in Lexis, begin typing “CFR” into the search box at the top of the page, and then click on the “Code of Federal Regulations - Index” link that appears in the drop-down menu. 

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You can browse or search the CFR Index. To browse, choose a letter from the links across the side of the page, click on the “plus sign” to expand your options, and scroll down, or use a Control or Command-F search to find a specific index term. Select that term to view a list of related topics and subtopics. To search the CFR Index, simply enter your search terms in the search box at the top of the page and select the search icon.

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Keyword Searching 

You can also keyword search the entire Code of Federal Regulations and use an Advanced Search to improve your results. 

For example, in Westlaw if you know that regulations relating to space are likely located in Title 14 for Aeronautics and Space, click on the link for that title before conducting your search. 

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For help formulating your search, select the Advanced link beside the orange search icon. To the right is a list of connectors and expanders that can help you combine search terms. Or you can use the “Find documents that have” search boxes and Westlaw will insert the connectors for you. After running your initial search, you can narrow your results using the available filters.

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In Lexis, click on the Federal tab under "Explore" and select the CFR to open the table of contents. Enter terms into the search box at the top of the page or click on the Advanced Search link for additional search options. 

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To the right is a list of connectors that can help you combine search terms. If you use the search boxes on this page, such as "All of these Terms," Lexis will enter the relevant connectors for you when you click the "Add" button. Click on the search icon to run your search. After running your initial search, you can narrow your results using the available filters.

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