Overview

To Access CRS Reports

Additional Information and Research Strategies

Overview

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) was established within the Library of Congress to provide members, committees, and congressional staff with nonpartisan and objective research and analysis on all public policy issues. Originally established in 1914 as the Legislative Reference Division, CRS was originally organized as a typical library reference service. Under the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, it was officially named the Legislative Reference Service, given permanent status as a separate department within the Library, and directed to employ senior specialists in various program areas. The Legislative Reference Service was renamed Congressional Research Service under the Legislative Reference Act of 1970.

Currently, the CRS research divisions are:  American Law; Domestic Social Policy; Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade; Government and Finance; Knowledge Services; and Resources, Science and Industry. Many CRS reports are updated at varying intervals, so it is always important to note the exact date of issuance rather than just the title and the year of publication.

To Access CRS Reports

Use these search forms:

Use these search criteria:

  • Keyword

  • Title

  • Subject

  • Geographical index term

  • Committee name

  • Bill number

  • Congressional number (if applicable)

  • LexisNexis accession number

Highlights of what's covered as part of the basic subscription:

  • Basic subscription includes citations for CRS reports contained in other congressional publications or reprinted as congressional committee prints

Additional Information and Research Strategies

LexisNexis® Congressional provides access to CRS reports through the Basic, Advanced, and Search by Number forms.

Tip: Researchers at institutions with purchase/subscription arrangements that do not provide access to the optional Congressional Research Digital Collection modules can access CRS reports by doing a keyword search under "CRS" or a subject search under "Congressional Research Service".

The LexisNexis Congressional basic subscription provides citations for CRS reports contained in hearings, committee prints, and other congressional publications from 1970 forward, and provides abstracts and indexing for CRS reports issued as official congressional publications. For maximum search results, a Basic or Advanced Search should be conducted searching all available publication types. Some CRS reports have been issued as House or Senate documents, reports, or committee prints, while others are available as attachments to various types of publications. In addition to providing access to versions of "official" CRS reports, LexisNexis Congressional provides access to numerous memos and witness submitted statements authored by CRS staff. In all cases, the bibliographic information provided is sufficient to allow the user to locate microfiche or print versions elsewhere in the library.

LexisNexis Congressional is in the process of also making available annotated indexing and searchable PDFs for a collection of CRS prints (1916-2003) through the optional Congressional Research Digital Collection retrospective module, and annotated indexing and searchable PDFs for CRS reports from 2004 forward through the optional Congressional Research Digital Collection prospective module.