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Administrative Law Research

Introductory guide to federal and Oklahoma administrative law research

Strategy for Federal Administrative Law Research

1.Locate the statutory or constitutional provision creating the agency or granting the agency authority to act. Use an annotated statutory code to assist in determining whether the agency acted within the grant of power.

2. Locate the text of the relevant rule in the Code of Federal Regulations. If accessible, use an electronic source, such as Westlaw Edge, Lexis Advance, or the e-CFR, which incorporate changes as they appear in the Federal Register. If you are researching in print, you will need to follow the steps below to make sure you have located the most recent regulatory authority. .

  • Start with the CFR volume closest to the date you are interested in.
  • Update the CFR using the List of Sections Affected feature. (CFR List of Sections Affected (LSA) is issued monthly. The LSA cites to Federal Register pages for final and proposed changes.)

  • Check the CFR Parts Affected to update to the day. (CFR Parts Affected is found in the Federal Register.)


CFR Parts Affected may also be accessed on GovInfo

3. Check the Federal Register to find any proposed changes.

4. Locate agency and judicial decisions applying the rule in similar circumstances. You can find agency decisions on HeinOnline, Lexis Advance, Westlaw Edge, and agency websites. is an electronic source providing access to make or view comments. In addition, provides access to information regarding the status of changes to regulations and to the 

Federal Register in Print

Federal Register Feed

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Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in Print


The e-CFR. as noted on the website, is "a currently updated version" of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). It is NOT an "official legal edition" of the CFR.

CFR on GovInfo

Federal Register and CFR in Commercial Databases

The Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) are available via a number of commercial databases. HeinOnline provides access to the Federal Register from inception in 1936 thru 2018. The CFR is available from 1938 through the present.

Both the Federal Register and the CFR are accessible and searchable via ProQuest Congressional.