L E G I S W O R K S  


Citation Analysis of 112th Congress Legislation in XML

The purpose of this analysis is to determine whether there is a need to break out all or some of the remaining Statute at Large volume files into separate public law and stat-page files.

In mid-January 2013, the Government Printing Office published volumes 65-122 (1951-2009) of the Statutes at Large repository. GPO also split the volume files into individual public law and stat-page files.(1, 2) Soon afterward, GPO added volume 123 for 2010. GPO's repositories include the following:

  • Scanned PDFs with OCR are available for all of the volumes (1951-2010).
  • HTML renditions of Public Laws are available from 2003 to 2010.
  • GPO also publishes a separate repository of Public Laws from 1995 to the present without stat-page files.
These repositories provide the public with the official electronic versions of US laws as enacted by Congress.

On the other hand, the non-profit organization, http://constitution.org has published scanned PDF files for volumes 1 through 126 (1789-2012).

In order to determine whether there is a need to split out Public Laws and Stat page files for the pre-1951 Statutes at Large, the XML files for 2010-2011 were searched for references to Statutes at Large (i.e., # Stat. #). 6,656 citations were found in the 15,104 measures searched. (raw data, sorted raw data )

Chart showing 2012 citations by Statute at Large volume.
Citation Analysis 112th Congress (2011-2012) XML Bills and Resolutions 
(Statutes at Large Citations)
Measures Analyzed: 15,104
Citations Found: 6,656
Stat Volume Year Times Cited Percent Cum Percent
2 1799-1813 2 0.03 0.03
4 1824-1835 1 0.02 0.05
5 1836-1845 1 0.02 0.06
9 1845-1851 3 0.05 0.11
11 1855-1859 2 0.03 0.14
12 1859-1863 18 0.27 0.41
18 1867-1869 11 0.17 0.57
22 1881-1883 1 0.02 0.59
24 1885-1886 2 0.03 0.62
25 1887-1889 8 0.12 0.74
26 1889-1891 1 0.02 0.75
27 1891-1893 2 0.03 0.78
28 1893-1895 2 0.03 0.81
29 1895-1897 3 0.05 0.86
30 1897-1899 4 0.06 0.92
31 1899-1901 4 0.06 0.98
32 1901-1903 17 0.26 1.23
33 1903-1905 1 0.02 1.25
34 1905-1907 8 0.12 1.37
35 1907-1909 3 0.05 1.41
36 1909-1911 22 0.33 1.74
37 1911-1913 1 0.02 1.76
38 1913-1915 5 0.08 1.83
39 1915-1917 3 0.05 1.88
40 1917-1919 8 0.12 2.00
41 1919-1921 8 0.12 2.12
42 1922 26 0.39 2.51
44 1925-1927 27 0.41 2.91
45 1927-1929 4 0.06 2.97
46 1929-1931 24 0.36 3.34
47 1931-1933 6 0.09 3.43
48 1933-1934 6 0.09 3.52
49 1935-1936 6 0.09 3.61
50 1937 31 0.47 4.07
52 1938 1 0.02 4.09
53 1939 21 0.32 4.40
54 1939-41 9 0.14 4.54
55 1941-42 2 0.03 4.57
56 1942 4 0.06 4.63
58 1944 5 0.08 4.70
59 1945 4 0.06 4.76
60 1946 13 0.20 4.96
61 1947 5 0.08 5.03
62 1948 9 0.14 5.17
63 1949 17 0.26 5.42
64 1950 39 0.59 6.01
66 1952 3 0.05 6.05
68 1954 25 0.38 6.43
69 1955 13 0.20 6.63
70 1956 15 0.23 6.85
71 1957 4 0.06 6.91
72 1958 19 0.29 7.20
73 1959 50 0.75 7.95
74 1960 14 0.21 8.16
78 1964 19 0.29 8.44
79 1965 1 0.02 8.46
80 1966 3 0.05 8.50
82 1968 11 0.17 8.67
83 1969 4 0.06 8.73
84 1970 3 0.05 8.77
85 1971 8 0.12 8.89
86 1972 9 0.14 9.03
87 1973 7 0.11 9.13
88 1974 8 0.12 9.25
90 1976 14 0.21 9.47
91 1977 3 0.05 9.51
92 1978 18 0.27 9.78
94 1980 19 0.29 10.07
95 1981 17 0.26 10.32
96 1982 22 0.33 10.65
98 1984 18 0.27 10.92
99 1985 5 0.08 11.00
100 1986 38 0.57 11.57
101 1987 18 0.27 11.84
102 1988 44 0.66 12.50
103 1989 1 0.02 12.52
104 1990 33 0.50 13.01
105 1991 39 0.59 13.60
106 1992 104 1.56 15.16
107 1993 40 0.60 15.76
108 1994 83 1.25 17.01
109 1995 33 0.50 17.50
110 1996 139 2.09 19.59
111 1997 27 0.41 20.00
112 1998 115 1.73 21.72
113 1999 104 1.56 23.29
114 2000 174 2.61 25.90
115 2001 89 1.34 27.24
116 2002 93 1.40 28.64
117 2003 143 2.15 30.78
118 2004 223 3.35 34.13
119 2005 900 13.52 47.66
120 2006 225 3.38 51.04
121 2007 206 3.09 54.13
122 2008 875 13.15 67.28
123 2009 759 11.40 78.68
124 2010 804 12.08 90.76
125 2011 584 8.77 99.53
126 2012 25 0.38 99.91
129 2015 4 0.06 99.97
1222 3108 2 0.03 100.00

Observations

  • 83% of Statute of Statute at Large references can be linked to an HTML version of a Public Law using both repositories. Most Statute at Large citations reference the most recent volumes.
  • 94% of Statute at Large references are available as scanned stat-page-publaw files or HTML versions. The pre-1951 references represented less than 6% of all Statute at Large references.
  • Although fewer references occur for the earlier volumes, it does not appear that laws before a specific volume are no longer referenced.
  • The 609 references to volumes 125 and 126 predate the availability of those volumes (which are still unavailable as Stat page files from GPO).
  • Laws enacted in 2006 and 2007 were far less often referenced than laws in the years directly preceding and succeeding those two years.
  • 6 citations are references to volumes that absolutely did not exist (see the last entries in the table).