Find Materials

Finding Technical Reports

What are Technical Reports?

Technical reports are a means of communicating the progress of research in the fields of technology and science. They are used as a way of communicating information for technical development throughout industry and throughout the world. This means that they're highly detailed and the information is only directed toward a specialized audience. Technical reports may also serve as a way for organizations who fund projects to check on the status of a particular project.

Technical reports can generally be characterized as falling into one of two categories:

  • Government-sponsored research
  • Privately funded research

The nature of technical reports may be difficult to identify because there is no central coordination for dissemination and publication.

How do I know if the citation I have is a technical report?

Each technical report is identified by an individual number. That number consists of a series of letters and numbers, called the report series code. This code indicates a relationship among various reports written at different times. The sequential numbers in the code help distinguish one report from another.

Report series codes are assigned to individual reports by the issuing agency. This is a key as to who is issuing the report. The Report Series Codes Dictionary (located in Science Library Reference) is a good source to help you in the identification of the technical report.

Finding Technical Reports - Resources

Last modified: December 15, 2015