- General Sources
- Congressional Research Service
- National Laboratories and Technology Centers
- NTIS: National Technology Information Service
- Nuclear Regulation
- Space Exploration
- Nongovernmental Sources
The federal government publishes a wealth of information pertaining to science and technology. The Government Documents Library provides a valuable starting point in one’s research whether the needed publications are housed here in Government Documents, another University library or on the Internet.
Technical reports are more current sources of information than books or journal articles, but the information often has not been peer reviewed or closely edited. These publications often are not cataloged and citations are incomplete or inaccurate, so it is necessary to make use of appropriate databases and indexes, as well as working with a reference librarian.
The National Technical Information Service (NTIS) is the central clearinghouse for unclassified technical reports of government-sponsored research. On the UIUC campus NTIS microfiche are housed in Grainger Engineering Library. An NTIS citation will often include an accession number for each report which will be useful in locating the microfiche. For more information on NTIS and accessing these reports, click on the ‘National Technical Information Service’ link in the menu above.
Grainger Library also offers this Tutorial: Locating Government Publications in Science and Technology.
The Catalog of United States Government Publications indexes print and electronic government information products created by federal agencies. Many of these products were distributed through the Federal Depository Library Program.
The Catalog via GPO contains more than 500,000 records generated since July 1976 and it is updated daily.
Monthly Catalog of US Government Publications, 1895-1976 is available for UIUC affiliates or on campus use only.
The Catalog via OCLC FirstSearch contains records from 1976 and is available for UIUC affiliates or on campus use only. In “Search in Database” choose “GPO” in the drop down menu.
Earlier information is available in a print index, Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications. In the Government Documents Library at call number
015.73 UN35. Coverage: 1895-1991.
Networked Computer Science Technical Reference Library
This site is a collaborative project involving NASA Langley, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. Search for reports or browse within each archive holding reports.
Library of Congress
Science Reference Services; Science, Technology and Business Division
This site provides examples of the technical reports collected by the Library of Congress. Not all are available online, but it does include links to NTIS collections and non-governmental sources of technical reports, as well as information on obtaining reports from the Library of Congress.
This family of databases provides bibliographic, factual, and structural information on toxic and otherwise dangerous chemicals and substances, as well as information on these substances’ interactions with living organisms and the environment. One database, TOXLINE, offers index access to published research results in books, journals, and technical reports. Other databases provide factual information about the compounds, procedures, and outcomes in a concise outline format. Search any individual database or all databases at one time.
Virtual Technical Reports Center
This virtual center provides access to eprints, preprints and technical reports on the web. Indexed by institution, all of which provided either full-text or searchable abstracts of their reports.
Technical reports on this site are located under many subject areas. Use the Search box and enter keywords “technical reports” to bring up many listings.
This database provides access to records covering the full range of bibliographic material cataloged by OCLC member libraries including military universities. WorldCat can be used to search for cataloged technical reports.
Congressional Research Service
Multiple sites provide access to these reports based on subject matter.
Penny Hill Press
This site is comprehensive and arranged by subject area. However, it provides only a listing of CRS reports not full-text. As a commercial press it provides means of ordering the full-text reports, many of which may be available for free through the sites below.
University of North Texas Libraries
The UNT Libraries provide this online archive of Congressional Research Service Reports from 1990 to today. Thousands of reports are available on a wide range of topics. Reports can be found by searching full text, title, author, subject or report number. Reports can also be browsed by subject matter.
Environmental Law & Policy
The National Library for the Environment provides this database and the following explanation. “The Congressional Research Service (CRS), part of the Library of Congress, prepares its reports for the U.S. Congress. CRS products undergo review for accuracy and objectivity and contain nontechnical information that can be very useful to people interested in environmental policy. CRS does not itself provide these documents to the general public. Although CRS documents are prepared specifically for Congress and not widely distributed, their distribution is not protected by law or copyright. NCSE is committed to expanding, maintaining and updating its database of reports, making them available and searchable for the public.” Use this site to search or browse by topic, date, code or title.
Homeland Security/Terrorism and Health Law and Policy
This online collection, covering two topic areas, is provided by the Thurgood Marshall Law Library at University of Maryland. Browse the reports by topic, date, title, or order code.
Intelligence, Military and National Security
This list is provided by the Federation of American Scientists and is subdivided by topic.
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) homepage
“THE premier provider of DoD technical information.” This Department of Defense site links to STINET for access to technical reports (see next listing). It also provides Technical Reports Automated Information List (TRAIL), a free subscription service which allows individuals to be notified bi-weekly via email regarding new documents on their selected topics.
Scientific and Technical Information Network (STINET)The main menu includes a “MultiSearch” covering a range of federal databases and “DTIC (Defense Technical Information Center) Collections” which provides a quick search of defense information.
EnergyFiles: Energy Science and Technology Virtual Library
EnergyFiles is no longer available. To read about DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information, please go to www.osti.gov. To search science information from multiple U.S. agencies, please go to www.science.gov.
Energy Research Abstracts
The Office of Science and Technical Information provides this base for information collections. It provides links to resources offering R&D Results, E-Print Literature, Journal Literature, R&D Projects, International Information Resources, and Customized Information Tools.
In Main Stacks: DOC.E1.17: and Engineering Library: 016.3338un32er1
This online index covers U.S. Department of Energy research; full text is available from 1995 forward.
Energy Citations Database
Bibliographic records for energy and energy-related scientific and technical information from the Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies, the Energy Research & Development Administration (ERDA) and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Energy Citations Database provides access to DOE publicly available citations from 1948 forward.
This site allows scientific or technical documents to circulate 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.
Subject Specific Portals
These subject-specific web pages cover a range of energy topics including wind energy and vehicle technologies. Updated biweekly, they provide full text technical reports and more.
Energy Information Administration
The Energy Information Administration is a statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy. The EIA provides “policy-independent data, forecasts, and analyses to promote sound policy making, efficient markets, and public understanding regarding energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment.” This page provides energy information in a variety of search formats (i.e. geography, type of fuel, forecasts, analyses). It also includes a list of upcoming reports, a link to quick stats, and historical data.
EPA National Library Network Program
The Environmental Protection Agency provides this page of links to the 28 EPA libraries and their shared online catalog. All libraries are open to the public and some items may be available to check out via interlibrary loan.
EPA National Service Center for Environmental Publications
This site allows searching by document number or title. A guide to EPA publication numbers is included.
The U. S. Geological Survey provides this search for publications. While not limited to technical reports, it does provide a basic or advanced search, a browsing list of USGS series, and a link to recent publications.
National Laboratories and Technology Centers
NTIS: National Technical Information Service
Government Reports Announcements and Index
The National Technical Information Service is the federal government’s central source for the sale of scientific, technical, engineering, and related business information produced by or for the U.S. government and complementary material from international sources. The NTIS Collection of nearly 3 million titles includes: business and management studies, international marketing reports, materials and chemical science data, technology innovations, and training tools. The reports are primarily through government agencies and non-governmental organizations, the collection also includes an extensive collection of foreign technical reports and “gray” literature.
In Main Stacks: DOC. C51.9/3: and Engineering Library: A.600UN34B
Public access at www.ntis.gov Includes a search function for government web sites as well as an electronic catalog of technical reports published by the U.S. government since 1990.
UIUC subscription available to University affiliates through Online Journals & Databases by searching “National Technical Information Service.” This links to the database known as “Engineering Village.” It now offers faceted searching, RSS alerts, the ability to post links to records on one’s blog, and Easy Search for a “web-like” search option. Reports are available as far back as 1884.
Government Reports Annual Index
In Main Stacks: DOC.C51.9/4: and Engineering Library: 016.6GOV
Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS)
This system provides access to all image and text documents that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made public since November 1, 1999. It supports full text searching and is updated daily. It also provides bibliographic records of some items prior to that date.
U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (NWTRB)
The NWTRB was created “to review the Department of Energy’s (DOE) technical and scientific activities related to disposing of the nation’s commercial spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.” They provide a chronological list of reports (from 1990) with full text available in PDF format.
NASA Technical Reports Server
Over 500,000 aerospace-related citations, over 200,000 full-text online documents, and over 500,000 images and videos are available. The types of information found in the NTRS include: conference papers, journal articles, meeting papers, patents, research reports, images, movies, and technical videos.
Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports (STAR) 2003-2004 are available online free of charge. Older issues of STAR dating back to 1996 can be obtained as PDF files by contacting the NASA STI Help Desk.
In Main Stacks: DOC. NAS1.9/4: and Engineering Library: 016.6294SC27
Science and Technical Information homepage
This site includes links to NASA Technical Reports Server, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Technical Reports Server, Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports, Selected Current Aerospace Notices, and STI RSS feeds.
Aerospace Medicine Technical Reports
Reports on aerospace medicine are available here divided by year of publication, and searchable by author name, subject, and title. Full text is available in pdf format.
National Transportation Library
This Transportation Information Resources page from NTL provides links and annotations for multiple databases.
Wright Air Development Center Digital Collection
The Wright collection offers a full bibliography of reports. Browse by report number (HTML) or in pdf format, or search the full bibliography. Some reports are available in full text.
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
AIAA is “the world’s largest professional society devoted to the progress of engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense.” For technical reports, link to ‘Publications and Papers’ and scroll down to search the AIAA Electronic Library.
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
SAE was formed to “share information and exchange ideas for advancing the engineering of mobility systems.” Papers and standards can be browsed by topic. Link to them through ‘Shop the SAE Store’ at the middle of the screen. Abstracts are available, with full text available for purchase.
Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
SPE works “to collect, disseminate, and exchange technical knowledge concerning the exploration, development and production of oil and gas resources.” Search through the ‘Technical Resources’ link at the top of the screen. Abstracts are available, with full text available for purchase.