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Civil & Environmental Engineering

Technical Reports

What are technical reports? Technical reports describe research in scientific and technical fields and are typically produced for government, private industry and academic groups, which sponsor the research. The U.S. government is one of the largest sponsors of technical reports in the world.

Where to find technical reports?  Search the web sites to U.S. government agencies such as the Dept. of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and multiple U.S. agency resources including NTIS and TRAIL.

DTIC (Defense Technical Information Center) @

NTIS (National Technical Information Service) @

TRAIL, Technical Reports Archive & Image Library.  Find it @

Identifying and locating technical reports can be challenging as their publication and distribution is controlled by the funding agencies. If you have any difficulties locating a technical report, please Ask A Librarian for assistance.

Other Web Sites

These are additional web sites for searching and finding technical reports:

Library of Congress - Technical Reports and Standards

Description of Technical Reports

Characteristics of technical reports are that they:

  • are written by and for experts within a given discipline
  • contain the results of funded research
  • address the needs of the sponsoring organizations
  • can be difficult to locate and obtain

Technical reports can be searched by author(s), title, and report number. Technical Report number formats are usually alpha numeric and can be based on:

  • contract number
  • grant number
  • accession number
  • report series
  • project number
  • Superintendent of Documents classification number

These numbers are important and are often the easiest way to find a specific report or document.Technical report number systems although controlled by the publishing organization usually include the following elements:

  • agency, society, or company delineator
  • year code
  • specific number for each report

For example:

  • NASA-CR-179239(NASA)
  • EPA-SAB-RAC-99-008 (EPA)
  • PB93-229409 (NTIS accession number)
  • ADA471526 (DOD)
  • SAND--95-2992 (DOE)

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