Please advise how I should cite the US Federal Register in Harvard Reference style.

As an example, I have seen this part of the Federal Register referenced as:

2012 Planning Rule (77 Fed. Reg. 21161)

However that's not in Harvard style. How do I reference this within the text (author, year), and in the reference list?

  • I'm not sure why this is being down-voted. If you don't like the question, why not leave a helpful comment to say why, rather than anonymously and unhelpfully down-voting? If you can't be helpful then move on to another question.
    – user94230
    Jun 27, 2018 at 14:41
  • 3
    Maybe people are tired of seeing the umpteenth iteration of "how do I cite my microwave oven's manual using the university of Sarajevo style (v2)?". Almost all of the time, the answer is "like anything else", and the true answer is "it barely matters".
    – user9646
    Jun 27, 2018 at 15:28
  • 1
    The Harvard reference style is slightly more widespread than some presumably fabricated style you've just made up to try to sound clever. Helpful comments only please.
    – user94230
    Jun 27, 2018 at 15:34

2 Answers 2


My approach would be to give an in-text citation as:

Federal Register (2012)

The end-of-paper reference could be given in one of two ways:

Federal Register (2012) National Forest System Land Management Planning. Federal Register Vol.77 No.68, 21161-21276. Washington D.C.

or....you could cite the online pdf version as follows:

Federal Register (2012) National Forest System Land Management Planning, Federal Register Vol.77 No.68, 21161-21276 [pdf] Washington D.C.: Forest Service. Available at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-04-09/pdf/2012-7502.pdf [Accessed 27 June 2018].

I think it's important to remember that the purpose of a citation is to help the reader to be able to access the document in question. In my examples above, even if there may be potential disagreement over authorship (is it the Federal Register, US Govt. or Forest Service?) or location of publication, the reader can easily find the document you are referring to (especially the second option, which takes them directly to the online pdf).


Go to Google Scholar, and type source:(federal register)

Pick any convenient publication from the resulting list. Clicking the quotation mark underneath it will show all the formats.

For example:

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