Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Legal researchers go ga-ga over revamped Fed Reg database

The Washington Post is reporting that today marks the launch of a revamped government database that will allow legal researchers to locate materials in the Federal Register a lot easier.  As the Post reports:

Lawyers, lobbyists, librarians and concerned citizens, rejoice: As of Monday, it is much easier to access the Federal Register.

The de facto daily newspaper of the executive branch publishes approximately 80,000 pages of documents each year, including presidential disaster declarations, Medicare reimbursement rates, and thousands of agency rulings on policies ranging from banking to fishing to food. It's a must-read for anyone with business before the federal government or concerned about inside-the-Beltway decisions, including academics, good-government advocates and Register junkies (yes, they do exist).

Starting Monday, issues dating back to 2000 will be available at Data.gov in a form known in the Web world as XML, which allows users to transport data from a Web site and store it, reorganize it or customize it elsewhere. Officials suggested that the move puts readers, rather than the government, in charge of deciding how to access the Register's reams of information

You can also read a about the change in the Law Librarian Blog here and at the online ABA Journal Blog here.

I am the scholarship dude.



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