No announcement yet.

How current is the information on the LII website?

This is a sticky topic.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How current is the information on the LII website?

    We update our collections of the US Code and Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) each time the government releases a new machine-readable version. Each page of these two large primary law collections contains a yellow box indicating the most recent public laws (which can either be new laws or changes to existing ones) included in the latest electronic update. Anything newer than that will not yet appear in our collection.

    If there is an update pending for the portion of the US Code you are exploring, a green box will appear above the yellow box. That green box tells you how many updates are pending and directs you to click on the "Updates" tab. The Updates tab will show you a table containing identifying information about the new law. You can follow the link in the yellow box: See Public Laws for the Current Congress. That link leads to the Library of Congress' website, more specifically the Thomas service. With Thomas, you can browse new laws too recent to have been included in the last electronic update promulgated by the government to services like ours and find the information identified in the "Updates" tab.

    The process is similar for the CFR. A green box will alert you to any updates appearing in the Federal Register which the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) has not yet released in machine-readable format. You can either follow a link to the government's eCFR website (which is admittedly more current but, in our opinion, in every other way inferior to our collection), or use the "Updates" tab on our page to view the new rules.

    Our Supreme Court collection is updated immediately whenever the Court issues a new opinion.

    Our secondary materials are updated with new content whenever authors create it. We are exploring ways to display the creation and editing dates of materials in our Wex legal encyclopedia.

  • #2
    Hi - I have a question about the underlying technology you are using to manage CFR updates.

    I noticed in your "team" section you describe the use of Drupal to help manage CFR updates. How did you establish the data model in Drupal? Did you leverage the XML .xsd schema from the eCFR site? How messy was that? Has it been stable? I assume that once you built the database structure, ingesting the code every month for CFR updates form eCFR is "relatively" straightforward? I assume that daily CFR updates from the federal register would need to also be ingested in order to populate the "Updates" tab.

    Or do you leave the content in XML files, and use Drupal to "extract" content? This approach sounds complicated, given the daily updates from the federal register.

    I really like the way you display the CFR content, especially the HazMat table, Title 49, Section 101... Did you have to develop your CSS from scratch or was there an example somewhere that helped?



    • #3
      Lots of questions - I'll follow up directly on another channel, but short version: we use FDsys CFR XML for the text, Federal Register XML for the updates, and link to eCFR for anyone who needs the most current version of the text. When we started, FDsys XML was in a much earlier phase of development, so we adapted what we could (e.g., CSS) and most of our work went into correcting the structure - it's in much better shape now; we also add a bunch of markup to support features for people reading the CFR on the site. We update the text on the FDsys release schedule and the updates on the FR schedule. We use Drupal to add features to the processed XML and display the pages.


      • #4
        Thank you


        • #5
          I noticed that the yellow boxes aren't appearing any more on the USC pages I'm visiting. Has there been a change in policy or in how currency information is displayed? The RSS Feed links on the right sides of the pages look to have relevant information, but I am wondering if the yellow boxes have been taken down intentionally. Thanks!


          • #6
            Hi Brent. I see the yellow "Current through..." boxes when I visit US Code pages. What titles/sections have you visited where you do not see this display?


            • #7
              Thanks ))))


              • #8
                Hello. I see in the initial post of this sticky topic that the CFRs on the Cornell website are updated each time the government updates them electronically. I assume that is still the case today?

                Also, is there any plan to change the URL structure of hyperlinks to the CFRs, or will they remain like or



                • #9
                  Please update this page to include Appendix E: found here:


                  Thanks! I have also let the FTA know it's missing from their website.


                  • #10
                    Hi Gary60. Sorry for the delay in response.

                    Our eCFR is updated for every new issue of the Federal Register. Please note that our eCFR is still in Beta.
                    Beta! The text on the eCFR tab represents the unofficial eCFR text at

                    I will get confirmation on the URL structure.


                    • #11
                      Thanks, tlmcdonald2000. I will pass this along!


                      • #12
                        Thanks so much, Charlotte! Any information you can obtain about the URL structure of the CFRs will be much appreciated.


                        • #13
                          Hi Gary. Just got confirmation that the URL structure will remain the same.


                          • #14
                            Great, thanks again for your help, Charlotte!


                            • #15
                              I returned to this forum by clicking on the "How current is this?" link, and I remember posting a few years ago about it. Again I'm not getting the yellow boxes - sorry, I'm really not trying to be that guy. I was looking at 16 USC 4301 and I have attached a screenshot. Is there a setting that I'm missing? I'm getting the same issue in Firefox and in Chrome.