Congressional Research Service reports now online from the source #CRS #LoC

tl;dr: The new site is https://crsreports.congress.gov/

The Congressional Research Service is an office within the Library of Congress that does research on current issues for members of Congress. Although it’s funded by the U.S. taxpayer, it does not work directly for us. In fact, its policy was not to make its reports public.

I first learned about CRS in library school from my reference professor, the late Dr. Terry Crowley. In those pre-Internet days, he told us that if we knew a CRS report existed on a subject, we could request it from our member of Congress.

Once the Internet came along, some public-service-minded web sites made a point of collecting as many CRS reports as they could and publishing them online. But since the reports weren’t coming from the source, you never knew if you were getting everything CRS publishes nor whether you were getting the latest versions. (CRS reports are frequently updated.)

Some members of Congress thought this was a crazy way to do things. Prodded by librarians, journalists, and other advocates for the free flow of government information, they introduced a bipartisan amendment to a budget bill requiring CRS to put its reports online. Last month, it happened. CRS reports are available at https://crsreports.congress.gov/ (Press release from Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, Congressional Research Service Reports Now Available Online)

The site has great searching and a nice layout of results. However, it isn’t perfect. So far, it just includes reports issued in 2018. If the latest version of a report came out in 2016 or 2017, it won’t be on the site. They plan to have the full inventory online by spring 2019. Some other shortcomings of the site are detailed in this article from Roll Call, Public-Facing Congressional Research Reports Site Launches to Criticism.

So, in the meantime, you may want to check the following sites for CRS reports in addition to the official site:
 

 

 

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