FOIA Log Explorer

Search for interesting requests across 169,486 FOIA log entries from 21 federal, state and local agencies

Improve your own requests by exploring what others asked for

Many agencies keep a list of who requested what, and when.

Almost every federal agency keeps a FOIA log that tracks Freedom of Information Act requests made by law firms, businesses, researchers and journalists. Many state and local agencies keep similar logs for requests filed under the respective state laws.

We’ve gathered, standardized and organized as many of these logs as we could get to make it easier for you to jumpstart your records process. Note that not all logs keep the same exact fields, so some entries will have more detail than others. Also, the way the request’s current status is indicated varies significantly, so we’ve standardized this information as best we can, but the same term might mean different things depending on the information the agency releases. You can explore hundreds of raw FOIA logs here to get a sense of how messy the data can be.

Concrete request ideas, at your fingertips.

FOIA and public records logs generally detail what the user requested. You can use this to generate more concrete language for your own requests, particularly if you see a previous request was successful. You can also just request a copy of the responsive records to a given request and ask for the same materials released to the prior requester. To do so, just click “Request a Copy” and we’ll pre-fill out a request you can review and submit with just two clicks.

Read more about how one reporter uses FOIA logs to develop story ideas and sources on their beat and more general tips and tricks to make the most out of FOI logs .

An ever-expanding library

The FOIA Log Explorer will continue to grow as we receive and process new releases from agencies. You can help. If you see an agency or a specific log not currently represented in the Explorer, you can email it to and we would love to add it to our growing database. It helps speed up the process if you can provide the FOIA log in our standardized FOIA log format, which has a set of consistent columns (see sample here) as well as a link to the source of the log so we can verify it.

If your research needs go beyond the basic search and browsing options currently available, please reach out. We can assist with custom projects that require importing additional logs from specific agencies, custom analysis of trends, alerts, bulk data exports and more. We’re interested in hearing from organizations with additional needs, and can offer a range of analysis, data cleaning, alert and development services.

This new tool is made possible through the support of Columbia University’s Brown Institute for Media Innovation, with Web design by Allan Lasser and product development and research by Derek Kravitz and Riya Chadha.