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Government Information 2e: Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations

Federal Register vs. Code of Federal Regulations

The Federal Register (FR) is published daily and lists, slip laws, proposed and final agency regulations, presidential proclamations and executive orders. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) categorizes by subject (or codifies) those regulations. A portion of the CFR is updated on a quarterly rotation so that the entire Code is updated annually. Statutes at Large are the laws that Congress has passed in a Session.

For more information see: A Research Guide to the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations by Rick McKinney (pdf).


Federal Register   

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

  • Daily, chronological listing of agency rules and regulations, executive orders, presidential proclamations. Published in about three days
  • Divided into 3 sections, "Rules and Regulations," "Proposed Rules." and "Notices"
  • Includes final rules, changes to rules
  • Includes rationale behind rules. This is not included in the CFR
  • Codified, subject arrangement of final, effective rules of federal agencies previously listed in the Federal Register. [Titles and Chapters]
  • Subjects often, but not always match the divisions in Statutes At Large
  • Complete CFR published every 5 years. Updated between editions by pocket supplements. 


Where to find the Federal Register

Where to Find the Code of Federal Regulations

Guides and Tutorials