Search Tips

US Regulatory Intelligence ("USRI") offers a number of different ways to find information. The principal ones are the following:

1) Word Search Combined with Metadata. These searches can be started from the search box that appears on almost every page on USRI. Generally, such searches will be of all of USRI. However, if you search from the News page, the search will be only of News. Also, if you are in a "Book" (for example, any statute or rule book), and you use the search bar on the left hand side, the search will be only of that book.

2) Dropdown Menu Leading you to various Focus Pages, including Topical Focus Pages, Regulator Focus Pages and Rule by Rule Focus Pages

Each of these search techniques is explained below.

Word Searches.

What does a word search cover?

Word searches can be started from the search box that appears on almost every page on USRI. Generally, such searches will be of all of USRI. However, if you search from the News page, the search will be only of News. Also, if you are in a "Book" (for example, any statute or rule book), and you use the search bar on the left hand side, the search will be only of that book.

There are over a quarter million regulatory documents on USRI. While we do provide useful external links, we put as much material directly on the site as possible to make the materials searchable. Word search covers both documents that are in HTML format and PDF attachments.

How does search determine what to return?

Documents are found through "Boolean" search (more details on that below).

How is the order of the documents determined?

When you run a search from most pages, the order of documents is generally determined by our algorithmic measure of "relevance" (which takes into account; e.g., the type of document, the regulator, and the number of times the search term or a similar term is used in the document. If you wish to change the order of your search results, you may change the order to by date (most recent or earliest first) or alphabetic (which can be useful for searching within a rule book as the results will come back in numeric order of the rule numbers).

When you run a search from the News page, the results will come back in date order (most recent on top).

How does word search on USRI work?

USRI uses simple word search and Boolean search via its text input box. (Results can be filtered through use of search facets or metadata, as explained further below). USRI supports the standard Boolean connectors AND, OR and NOT (we use upper case in the examples below but accept lower case in actual search) and the use of parentheses to group your logic.


Connector or Pattern


Unless you specify otherwise, all words used in a search must be present in a document for it to appear in the search results; this is the default behavior of search


swap margin
swap AND margin
These are equivalent; a document will not display unless both words appear

Either word must be present


swap OR margin

If either word is in the document, the document will appear in the search results

Exclude documents with the word or quoted phrase to the right of NOT. NOT and the excluded phrase must be the last part of the query


margin NOT swap

Exact phrase

Enclose in quotes

"margin requirement"

Group search terms

Use parentheses for Boolean grouping

(margin requirement) OR (swap portfolio)

Literal parentheses in legal citations

Literal "()"

Section 6(c)

Search only in specific fields




title:"risk disclosure"

content:swap dealer

citation:"CEA Section 17"

Note that terms limiting the specific fields, such as "title" and "citation" must be lower-case

Note also, there is no space between the colon and the start of the term

Designate certain terms as more important (aka "boosting")


swap capital^100

For searches based on relevance, the word "capital" will be given more importance than the word swap. Compare the results against a search on swap capital where the two terms are given equal weight.

Proximity (terms must have no more than 'x' words separating them)

"term1 term2"~x

"registration exemption"~3

Legal citations

Our search accepts many variations. The examples to the right are equivalent.

  • Statutes: 7 U.S.C. 21, 7 USC 21, CEA Section 17
  • Rules: 17 CFR 240.15c3-1, 17 C.F.R. 240.15c3-1, SEA Rule 15c3-1, Rule 15c3-1
  • Public Law: Public Law 116-54, Pub. L. 116-54, P.L. 116-54
  • Federal Registers: 85 FR 36938, 2020-12239 (FR Docno), CFPB-2020-0014 (CFPB designation), 3170-AB01 (RIN number)

Singular / Plural

Search will recognize singular and plural of a word

Jury and Juries produce the same search results

Synonyms and Abbreviations

Our search will recognize a good number of abbreviations

SBSD = security-based swap dealer
SRO = Self-regulatory organization
SPAC = Special purpose acquisition vehicle

Etc. A full list can be found here.


Metadata Filters

After you run a word search, you will see on the left hand side of your search results, a variety of metadata (or taxonomy filters), in addition to an ability to search by date.

The principle PRIMARY metadata filters are the following

  • Body of Law:
  • Issuing Jurisdiction: Most material on USRI is US Federal Regulation, but we do cover certain material from the States (e.g., NYDFS) and from the global regulators
  • Affected Jurisdiction: We use this filter when the Issuing Jurisdiction publishes a document that impacts another jurisdiction. For example, we use Affected Jurisdiction when OFAC issues a Sanction against another country.
  • Author Organization: Most Commonly Congress or the White House, a Regulator or other Governmental Entity, a Trade Association, a Regulatory Association or another interested party.
  • Document Type: For example: Statute, Rule, No-Action Letter, Notice, Speech, Study, Enforcement Action, Guidance.
  • Regulated Activities: E.g., Trading, Registration Requirement, Margining, Regulatory Reporting, Capital, Supervision, and so on.
  • Regulated Entities: E.g., Advisers, Banks, Broker-Dealers, Investment Funds, Swap Dealers, and so on.
  • Regulated Products: E.g., Swaps, Futures, Municipal Securities, Indices, ESG, Penny Stocks

What happens when you select a term within a metadata filter?

If you select a single term within a metadata filter, you will limit your results to documents that are associated with that metadata. If you select two results within the same filter category, your results will include documents that are associated with either of those terms.

On the other hand, when you select terms from two different filters; e.g, from Body of Law (Securities) and from Documents (No-Action Letter), the results will be limited to documents that are associated with both terms.

How specific can a search using the filters be:

There are also SECONDARY metadata filters to provide an additional level of search precision. You will not see these secondary filters until you pick a primary level metadata filter. The primary filters for which there are secondary filters are

Regulated Activity: For example, if you select Trading as a term in Regulated Activity, you will then be able to select from a more detail list of "Sub-Activities" such as Best, Execution, Short Selling, Payment for Order Flow, Trading Halts and many more.

Regulated Entity: For example, if you select Broker-Dealer, you see a list of entities such as Capital Acquisition Brokers, OTCDD and Primary Dealers.

Regulated Product: For example, if you select Options, you will be able to select as sub-Products Flex Options, Index Warrants or Trade Options.

Author Organization: For example, if you select Trade Association, you will be able to select the relevant organization, such as ISDA, MFA, or SIFMA.

Document Types: For example, if you select Regulatory Guidance, you will see a list of document types generally using the terms that are used by the regulator that published the guidance, such as Field Assistance Bulletin, or Information Letter or Risk Alert.

Can I combine the use of word searches and metadata filters?

This is generally the most powerful way to search.

All of the documents are categorized by, at a minimum, Author Org, Document Type and Sub-Type where relevant, and Jurisdiction. Generally, our metadata is most developed in the areas of Securities and Commodities, with some pretty good metadata for Banking. A lot of our work over the past year has been in making the transition to our new technology, so this year we expect that our metadata will be developing very rapidly as it becomes more the focus of our work.


The Hamburger

The third method of searching is by using the Dropdown from the "hamburger" that appears on the top left of all the USRI pages. The first level of dropdown will allow you to select a general body of law or you can select "Documents / Regulators."

Whether you select a body of law or documents, you will then be given more choices until you arrive at a "Focus Page." Focus Pages are generally intended to collect all of the material on either a specific (i) topic such as Short Selling, Business Continuity, Margin Lending or Capital or (ii) from a specific regulator; e.g, select banking and the next set of selections will allow you to choose a banking regulator.

There is a third type of Focus Page called "Rule by Rule." On those Focus Pages, we may list all of a relevant set of Statutory Sections or Rules and then you can pick the the Section or Rule in which you are interested and either go that Section / Rule or go to the Focus Page that is "focused" (for lack of a better word) on that provision and related provisions.