Long awaited public access to Congressional Research Service reports are now available online.
The new OFFICIAL PORTAL launched today at CRSReports.Congress.gov
Official/Formal public access can after years of hard work by a number of people and organizations. Kudos to those involved.
Daniel Schuman at Demand Progress (a person and an organization deeply involved in making today’s news a reality provides background in this post from March 22, 2018 when the U.S. House passed the needed legislation.
Another person who deserves a lot of credit for today’s news is Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists who has worked hard to make official public access a reality.
More about Daniel and Steven in a moment.
Searching the New Portal
Search is about as straight forward as it gets. Enter your keywords and press search.
You can also run an empty/null search and review all items in the database (last in, first out) as seen below.
Limit (if needed) using the facets on the left side of results pages.
Note: A basic/default search is not searching the full text of a report but you can expand to a full text search by selecting the “Include Full Text” box (green arrows). It’s also possible to bulk download search results. All reports are PDF files.
Not Available via the New Portal
It’s important to note that not every CRS report that could be provides is currently available via the new portal but will CONTINUE to be accessible from the sources listed below.
Schuman tells infoDOCKET:
CRS is publishing only one type of its non-confidential reports and not all of them, as required by law. They’re also only publishing reports issued or updated since the law was enacted, not all the non-confidential reports on their website.
Moving forward, all new or updated reports will be added to the website as they are made available to Congress. The Library is also working to make available the back catalog of previously published reports as expeditiously as possible.
More details about this process can be found on the site’s Frequently Asked Questions page.
Read the Complete Blog Post
FAS and EveryCRS Report
As we mentioned a moment ago the work of Steven Aftergood, Daniel Schuman, and others in and around the library and government info community is worthy of a salute. Well done!
Aftergood/FAS provides will continue to provides access to materials that the official portal does not offer. For example: CRS Legal Sidebar, CRS Insight, CRS In Focus.
EveryCRS also provides RSS alerts, something that the Congress.gov site does not provide (at least at this time). We also love the fact that EveryCRS provides access to previous versions of reports and provides a hint to the percentage of info that has changes from one version of a report to the next.
It’s infoDOCKET’s hope that both Aftergood/FAS and Schuman/EveryCRS continue to provide their valuable services (and perhaps work with Congress.gov) even as the official portal becomes available.
Direct to CRSReports.Congress.gov.