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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: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

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

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org