Wednesday, January 26, 2011

US Code Popular Names

Recently we were asked by an academic librarian how we help researchers find federal statutes by popular name. There are several options - in print, free online, and through our licensed databases:

At the Library: The United States Code Annotated (USCA), the United States Code Service (USCS), and the official United States Code (USC) all have popular name tables, at the end of each set (KF 62 at Reference Area). There is a second copy of the USCA popular name table shelved in the Reference Office.

Free Online: The Office of Law Revision Counsel has a Popular Name Tool, and Cornell's Legal Information Institute offers Popular Names and Acts in the US Code.

UW Restricted: HeinOnline has a popular name search for the Statutes at Large. Click on the plus next to "United States Statutes at Large," and you'll see an option to browse by popular name. LexisNexis Academic does not have the USCS popular name tables, but try a search like this: “short title w/30 endangered species.

And if you are interested in how statutes get their names (popular and otherwise), check out Mary Whisner’s article, What's in a Statute Name?, 97 LAW LIBR. J. 169‐83 (2005).

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