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Journal Cite Checking Guide: Statutes, Legislative Materials, and Regulations

FEDERAL STATUTES

Slip Laws
The first official publication of an enacted federal law, whether public or private, is a slip law. Public laws are those that affect society as whole and are indicated with "Pub. L." Private laws are intended for individuals or small groups of people.

Copies of slip laws are available in the Document Offices of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as available from the Superintendent of Documents. Slip laws can be accessed online at:

Public laws are also reprinted by public law number in the unofficial United States Code Congressional Administrative News (USCCAN).  USCCAN publishes new laws monthly via advance sheets and then issues bound volumes at the end of each Congressional session. USCCAN is available in print in the Law Library Core at KF48 .U52 and electronically on Westlaw (Westlaw password required).

Session Laws
At the end of every Congressional session the slip laws are compiled, indexed, and published in bound volumes.  The official compilation of the laws of each session of Congress is the Statutes at Large, indicated by "Stat."

Statutes at Large is available in print in the Law Library Core at KF50 .U5. It is available online at:

Codified Law
The United States Code is the official statutory code of the federal government – it is the subject arrangement of all federal public laws and is published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Code has 53 titles; each title is divided into chapters and further subdivided into sections.  The U.S. Code was first published in 1926. A new edition is reissued every six years and is updated annually with cumulative bound supplements.  It is available online at:

There are two commercially published versions of the U.S. Code that are not official: the United States Code Annotated and the United States Code Service. These are both annotated versions of the Code and include historical notes, cross-references, and a Notes and Decisions section for each statute.

The United State Code Annotated is available in print in the Law Library Core at KF62 1927 .W45 and electronically on Westlaw (Westlaw password required).

The United States Code Service is available in print in the Law Library Core at KF62 1972 .L38 and electronically on Lexis Advance (LexisNexis password required).

FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE MATERIALS

Bills
Proposed laws are introduced in Congress as bills or joint resolutions.  House bills are indicated by “H.R.” and Senate bills are indicated by “S.” House Joint Resolutions are indicated by “H.J. Res.” and Senate Joint Resolutions are indicated by “S.J. Res.” Take note that as bills go through the legislative process, they can be changed many times.  

Bill text can be accessed through the following sources:

  • Congress.gov – bill text and summaries, as well as information on major actions, amendments, cosponsors, committees, and related bills; information available in PDF format (1973-current)
  • GovInfo.gov – bill text; information available in PDF format (1993-current)
  • ProQuest Congressional – bill text; information available in PDF format (1789-current, on-campus or ASURITE)
  • Westlaw – unofficial (current session of Congress, Westlaw password required)
  • Lexis Advance – unofficial (current session of Congress, LexisNexis password required)

Committee Reports and Conference Reports
Conference reports are numbered as either a House or Senate committee report and considered part of the same series. House reports are indicated by H.Rept. [Congress No.]-[Report No.] and Senate reports are indicated by  S.Rept. [Congress No.]-[Report No.].

Committee and conference reports can be accessed through the following sources:

Hearings
A hearing is a meeting or session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress. Hearings can be accessed through the following sources:

Debates
Discussions on the floors of Congress are available in the Congressional Record.  The Congressional Record can be accessed through the following sources:

Other Congressional Documents

FEDERAL REGULATIONS

Federal Register
The Federal Register is the official daily publication for final regulations, proposed regulations, notices of administrative actions, presidential proclamations and executive orders, reorganization plans, and other documents either required by statute or ordered by the President to be published.

The Federal Register can be accessed through the following sources:

  • FederalRegister.gov – unofficial, HTML edition of the Federal Register (current)
  • GovInfo.gov – authenticated, PDF versions of the Federal Register (1994-current)
  • Regulations.gov – makes regulatory materials, including public comments, available online (current)
  • HeinOnline – PDF versions of the official Federal Register (1936-current, on-campus or ASURITE)
  • ProQuest Regulatory Insight – (1977-current, on-campus or ASURITE)
  • Westlaw – unofficial (1936-current, Westlaw password required)
  • Lexis Advance – unofficial (1936-current, LexisNexis password required)

Code of Federal Regulations
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the annual codification of the final regulations of federal agencies. It is divided into 50 titles, which represent broad subject areas. Each title is revised once a year; the schedule for revision is:

          Titles 1 through 16 —January 1
          Titles 17 through 27 —April 1
          Titles 28 through 41 —July 1
          Titles 42 through 50 —October 1

The Code of Federal Regulations can be accessed through the following sources:

ARIZONA STATUTES AND REGULATIONS

Arizona Statutes
Information on locating Arizona slip laws, session laws, and the Arizona Revised Statutes (official statutory code of the state of Arizona) is available on the Arizona Legislature tab of the Law Library’s Arizona Law Research Guide.

Arizona Regulations
Information on locating Arizona regulations can be found on the Arizona Agencies tab of the Law Library’s Arizona Law Research Guide.

ASK A LIBRARIAN

In Person
The Law Library's reference librarians are here to help you find or navigate research resources. The Reference Desk is located on the 3rd floor of the Arizona Center for Law and Society.

Reference Hours
Monday – Friday          9:00 am - 4:00 pm

By Email
Use our email reference service to ask any question you might ask at the Law Library. Replies are usually sent within 24 hours.

By Phone
Please call us at (480) 965-6144

Law Students
You can Make an Appointment with a Librarian for one-on-one research assistance. Include a description of your topic and times you are available to meet.  A librarian will contact you to set up an appointment.