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Using FederalRegister.Gov

Reader Aids

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

Website Features


We organize published Federal Register documents into six sections, similar to a web journal (Money, Environment, World, Science & Technology, Business & Industry, and Health & Public Welfare).  We think these sections include themes that have broad interest and which cover a majority of the documents published in the Federal Register. We feature articles in these sections based on the OFR’s editorial judgment, user interest, and agency input. Use the “Sections” pull-down in the main navigation at the top of any page to see highlighted documents and suggested searches.

Note: Sections have no legal impact on any documents or their publication, but do offer another way to find documents of interest.

Suggested Searches

Each section contains suggested searches designed around various areas of interest:

  • Terms that users have frequently used to search this site, including Dodd-Frank regulations, health care reform, education initiatives, and energy efficiency.
  • Frequently published document types, including information collection notices, endangered & threatened species findings, oil and gas leasing documents, and fishery management decisions.
  • Issues that become vitally important and timely, based on current events, including the “Disaster Declarations & Assistance” search.
  • Document types that are published infrequently and are hard to find but are frequently needed, including Social Security Rulings.

Note: We try to refine the suggested searches to minimize irrelevant items, but we cannot eliminate all irrelevant documents. Our suggested searches may also exclude some documents that you find relevant to the topic. If a search is not accurate enough for your purposes, you can customize these suggested search results to fit your needs.

Table of Contents

The “Current Issue” link on the home page takes users to the daily Federal Register table of contents.  The table of contents page also offers a calendar tool or a direct date entry box to view tables of contents of issues back to 1994.

Agency pages

Each agency that has published in the Federal Register has its own landing page, accessible from the Agency List, with a description of its mission and selected information, including “Significant Documents” (determined by OMB and published in the Unified Agenda) and collections of the most recent documents and public inspection postings.  You can access Agency pages by clicking on the “Browse” pull-down tab that appears in the main navigation at the top of every page or by using the search field at the bottom of the home page.

Topics (CFR Indexing Terms) pages

Each document that amends (or proposes to amend) the CFR contains a List of Subjects with terms that relate to the affected CFR parts. The agency selects the appropriate term(s) from the Federal Register Thesaurus.  Selecting any term displays all documents that include that term in the list of subjects. You can access these pages by clicking on the “Browse” pull-down tab that appears in the main navigation at the top of every page or by using the search field at the bottom of the home page.