Law Librarians ‘Delighted’ About Online Changes to Federal Register
Posted Oct 5, 2009 7:05 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Past issues of the Federal Register dating to 2000 go online today in a new format that makes the data easier to be moved, reorganized and customized.
The new XML format makes it easier for users to find the topic they want to research without having to sift through large amounts of unrelated material, the Washington Post reports. “The technology will allow users, including website designers, to quickly gather data and manipulate the information with tools such as mapping software, word clouds, spreadsheets and e-mail alert systems,” the story says.
Mary Alice Baish, director of government relations for the American Association of Law Libraries, calls the change "a win-win situation for business, the regulatory community and consumers." She told the Post law librarians are “delighted” about the change.
"We see law libraries being able to use the data for empirical research by law professors who want to track agency activities. For being able to track trends in the regulated industries. Even for studies of semantics and language," she told the Post.
The government spent about $100,000 converting the issues dating to 2000, and will likely spend at least $150,000 converting issues dating to 1994, when the Register first went online, the story says. The Federal Register can be accessed at www.data.gov.