Tip of the Day: How to Find a Section in the CFR

CFR, Tip of the Week, Tips and Tricks
HeinOnline Blogger

Here is today’s Tip of the Day in honor of our Customer Appreciation Week!

If you have a specific CFR citation, you can use the CFR Citation Locator tool from the CFR home page to generate a search for the citation.   In using this tool, there are a few things you should know.  The CFR in HeinOnline is indexed to the part level, it is not indexed to the section level.  Therefore, to find a section in the CFR, you have to generate a text search for the section.  When you use the CFR citation locator tool on the CFR home page, the system will generate a full-text search for you based upon the criteria you entered for the year, title, part and section.

Let’s take a look at an example to illustrate how this works.  Also, since it’s Election Day here in the U.S., we have an example that’s fitting for the occasion!

Example: We want to find 11 CFR 9008.7 from 2012, which discusses the permissible uses of the public funds that a candidate receives under the Federal financing program for a Presidential Nominating convention. 

 It is best to narrow your search to a specific year if you can. If you wish to view the changes from year to year however, you can choose “All Revisions” from the Revision Year. After selecting a year, insert the title number, part number and section number in the appropriate boxes and click find citation. The below search generates a query that looks like this: (text:”9008.7″ AND part:”9008″ AND title_num:”11″ AND volrefdate:”2012″).


You’ll notice that the query is appending the Part and Section numbers together into a text string to search for the CFR section, text:”9008.7″. As mentioned at the beginning of the post, the CFR is only indexed to the part level, therefore to find a section it must do a full-text search.

That search returns exactly one result.  Clicking on the View Matching Text Pages link and you’ll see several matching pages that contain our section 9008.7.  So you ask, how do I know which page the actual section begins on?  By looking at the page snapshots shown in the results, we can tell in which cases the text is simply referencing the section, and which is actually the components of the section.  Page 307 is the page that contains the actual text of section 9008.7.  

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