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Congressional Research Service Reports

Sources for identifying and finding CRS reports

Introduction

Congressional Research Service logo with drawing of US Capitol buildingThe Congressional Research Service (a division of the Library of Congress) provides high-quality research and analysis for committees and members of Congress. These reports, studies, and issue briefs are succinct and well-researched and many are regularly updated. About CRS.

For decades, CRS did not provide direct online public access to its reports or distribute reports to libraries. But in 2018, Congress passed a law directing the creation of a public site and ending the legal requirement prohibiting CRS from providing its products to the public.

Some organizations and institutions have made thousands of reports freely available, and some UW-restricted commercial databases have extensive collections of reports.

Types of Products Created by CRS

There are several types of written products created by CRS researchers in the course of their work. As described in the 2018 Congressional Research Service Annual Report, those products include:

  • Reports (R): Comprehensive research and analysis on the range of issues before Congress
  • In Focus (IF): Short, two-page documents providing a quick overview or primer on a topic
  • Infographics (IG): Visual representations that bring clarity to complex processes and topics
  • Insights (IN): Short analyses of current topics of interest to Congress
  • Legal Sidebar (LSB): Brief examination of recent development in the law
  • Testimony (TE): Written statements of CRS experts called before Congress