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Technical Reports

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Sources for Identifying Technical Reports

There are multiple approaches for identifying technical reports, depending on topic; some of these also contain full text for technical reports:

  • Technical report indexes and databases (many of these are government-related)
  • Some subject-oriented databases index technical reports and other materials in addition to peer-reviewed journal articles.
  • Library search box or library catalog for holdings at the UNH Library
  • WorldCat for holdings at other libraries (First Search or Books & Media Worldwide)
  • References cited in articles

What are technical reports?

A technical report is a document written by a researcher detailing the results of a project and submitted to the sponsor of that project. Many technical reports are government sponsored with the Department of Energy, NASA, and the Department of Defense among the top sponsors.  A number of U.S. Government sponsors now make technical reports available full image via the internet. Some technical reports may be available in paper or on microfiche in the UNH Library.

Although technical reports are very heterogeneous, they tend to possess the following characteristics:

  • technical reports may be published before the corresponding journal literature
  • content may be more detailed than the corresponding journal literature, although there may be less background information since the sponsor already knows it
  • technical reports are usually not peer reviewed unless the report is separately published as journal literature
  • classified and export-controlled reports have restricted access
  • obscure acronyms and codes are frequently used

Above text (with minor revisions) is used by permission and is from Georgia Tech Library's Technical Reports guide.

Types of Reports