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Reader Aids

Reader Aids help people use FederalRegister.gov and understand the federal rulemaking process. Reader Aids information is not published in the Federal Register.

Saddle Up, Scout!

Scout is a new research and notification system developed by the Sunlight Foundation. It covers Congress, regulations across the entire executive branch, and legislation in all 50 states. We are pleased to say that we contributed to this project in a round-about sort of way.

The federal regulatory content on Scout originates from FederalRegister.gov. We make our structured data and digital tools available to everyone to freely re-use, and we hope they will create innovative applications. The Scout beta site looks like a winner, based on our limited testing.

How does it work? Suppose your field is labor law, and you are interested in “collective bargaining” issues. A search on FederalRegister.gov for that term will yield more than 200 documents published since 2009.

For a broader reach, you can perform the same search on Scout to include Bills in Congress (via GPO and GovTrack), Speeches in Congress (from the Congressional Record via GPO and Capitol Words), and State Bills (via Open States). After getting search results from Scout, you can easily subscribe to an alert on that topic.

For more about the content and functions of Scout, see Sunlight’s About page.

Photo: Cross country horseback riders Ned Kennedy and Cecil Cary from Tacoma, Washington let two unidentified children sit on their horses at the west wing of the White House as they wait to meet President Truman. The riders have just completed a 3,500 mile trek. 02/12/1948. (Harry S Truman Library; ARC Identifier 199801)