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Searching (and Alerting) on the Federal Register by Agency

March 19, 2012

One recent enhancement to the Knowledge Mosaic research platform allows users to search Federal Register publications by releasing agency.  Another allows you to set this up as a custom alert delivered to your email inbox.

To search Federal Register materials by agency, go to our Laws, Rules, and Agency Materials page and start by clicking the blue text link for “Federal Register.”  Then type in the agency you’re interested in — say, “Federal Trade Commission” (use the quotation marks).  Since that’s a free text search that will return any record that mentions the FTC, you still need to refine your results to show only records tagged under “Federal Trade Commission.”  To do so, use the “Refine Results” sidebar and go to the “Agency” facet.  Uncheck “All Agencies,” then check the box next to “Federal Trade Commission” in the alphabetical list.  (To load that search now, click here.)

From there, you may want to further refine your query by adding additional text in the text search box – say, “antitrust” – or by filtering on a particular action type (e.g., “Final Rule” or “Notice”) or a general action category (e.g., “Rulemaking”).

One thing to bear in mind is that the “Agency” facet does not apply to the many federal bodies that are subsets of larger departments or agencies (often “sub-agencies” such as bureaus, offices, and the like).  You can still search on those, but you have to know what larger agency they fall under.  For example, say you want to search on Federal Register publications of releases by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  That agency falls under the Department of Energy, so a search for it would look like the following.

Limiting your search to the Federal Register, enter the phrase “Federal Energy Regulatory Commission” (including quotation marks) and run the search.  Once results have returned, refine the search by the Agency facet labeled “Energy Department.”  At that point, you have the basic template for a search of FERC releases in the Federal Register.  (To load that search now, click here.)  Again, you can further refine from there if you wish.

Finally, you can save any of these searches as alerts by clicking the “Save as Alert” link in the gold horizontal bar at the top of your results.

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