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What Are Technical Reports?
Technical reports describe the progress and outcomes of a research project, sometimes including recommendations. Technical reports are usually submitted to the agency that funded the research. Some other useful documents are issued by or for governments and may be required by laws or regulations, for example the Biological Opinions that describe possible adverse effects on U.S. endangered species. They are a great source of technical information.
Patents are a great source for technical information. They have a very complete description of the device, substance, or process being patented. The easiest way to find them is in the Google Patent Search.
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Technical Reports Servers
CERN Documents Server
Reports on high energy physics
NTIS: National Technical Information Service
NTIS is a government service. Most of the reports listed are for purchase, but you can look for them in libraries or use a search engine like Google. Some reports are available free in electronic form.
NTRS: NASA Technical Reports Server
Technical literature from the National Aeronautic and Space Administration
OSTI E-Print Network
Department of Energy site that includes "scientific or technical documents circulated electronically to facilitate peer exchange and scientific advancement. Included are pre-publication drafts of journal articles (preprints), scholarly papers, technical communications, or similar documents relaying research results among peer groups."
Online publications from RAND's policy research
The Technical Report Archive and Image Library gives access to pre-1975 technical reports
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC)
Gives access to Defense-funded research and development information. Choose Technical Reports from the dropdown list next to the search box.
The government information portal includes state as well as federal servers.
More Tech Reports
Some of the databases on the Databases on the Web page are good sources for technical reports, government reports, and preprints in a particular subject. Here are a few of many. For information about these and others, please see the Databases on the Web page.
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