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A Simple Idea to Help Open the Government

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The problem is simply stated on the homepage of Citability.org. "Government websites are ever changing and cannot be cited. Content changes without notice or accountability." The solution has a simple starting point: Create permanent, date-stamped URLs for each paragraph of every federal document posted to the web.

Researchers’ eyes light up when they hear this idea. "Of course," they say, "that would make it so easy to find government information online." It would make it easy to track changes to documents, such as bills and regulations, as they evolve throughout the policy formation process. It would make it possible to use a common search engine to find all comments written about any paragraph in any federal document.

Read more here.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.741.6285 or kpeters@americanprogress.org

Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or ashoup@americanprogress.org

Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
202.478.6350 or cpatterson@americanprogress.org

Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or mmeth@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Lindsay Hamilton
202.483.2675 or lhamilton@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org