A Simple Idea to Help Open the Government

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.

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