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Last Updated: Jan 14, 2014 URL: http://guides.lib.virginia.edu/techreports Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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U.S. Technical Reports - Introduction

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.

Listed below are finding aids and full-text sources for technical reports from selected U.S. government agencies: 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.  As a federal depository library Alderman receives many U.S. technical reports, but not all. You may request via Interlibrary Services reports not available at UVA.

See also the following resources:

Dept. of Energy (DOE)

Created in 1977, the Department of Energy is involved in contracted research in all areas under its domain: nuclear and solar power, energy conservation, biomass and synthetic fuels and more.

Library holdings in microfiche
The library owns a collection of over 200,000 DOE microfiche, filed under the call numbers  ER 1.11:,  E 1.28 and E 1.99. Some of these reports are indexed in VIRGO, but most are not individually indexed in VIRGO. Fiche location: 3EAST Reading Room.
NOTE:  If you have a report number that looks like ERDA/JPL/954465 or CONF/76-82 or ALO/3727-77/1 it might have been cataloged under any of the Energy Department technical report stems (ER 1.11:, E 1.28, E 1.99:) and it might be in either paper or microfiche.  Best Bet - look all three (six - paper and fiche) places, regardless of what VIRGO says.
 
Index and full-text resources:
  • WorldwideScience.org
    Allows search of most DOE/OSTI technical reports in addition to technical reports from other countries.
  • ScienceAccelerator.gov
    The U.S. technical report portion of WorldwideScience.org.
  • Energy Citations Database 1948-present
    Citations to energy-related scientific and technical information from the Department of Energy (DOE). Also covers material from DOE's predecessor agencies: Energy Research & Development Administration (ERDA) and Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).
  • Information Bridge 1995 -present
    Index and full text of DOE sponsored research literature received in paper copy or electronic format from DOE Laboratories and Grantees at the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) since January 1995. This includes literature indexed in the Energy Citations Database.
  • Energy Research Abstracts 1977-1995
    Call Number E 1.17:, GIR, 3rd floor New Stacks.
    Use this print source to locate individual reports on fiche. ERA supplied both the report number (CONF-9109162) and the DE number (DE94-08723). Reports are currently (2004) being refiled from DE number to report number.

Defense Department

  • DTIC - Defense Technical Information Center
    DTIC indexes and makes available many defense related technical reports and contractor reports. Not all are available in full text, but this is a great place to begin to search for Defense materials. Of course, sensitive or classified materials are not available to the public.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The EPA was created in 1970 from other agencies to consolidate the U.S. effort to fight air, land and water pollution. Most of what GIR owns is indexed in VIRGO. However many EPA reports are not distributed to UVA because the reports are sponsored by contactors outside the government. 

Index and full-text resources:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Created in 1958, NASA also produces technical reports on microfiche and in print. The reports are filed primarily under class number NAS 1.26 and NAS 1.15. The fiche are located in cabinets in Alderman's Government Information Resources Reading Room 3rd floor east. Printed materials are in Alderman 3rd floor, New Stacks. Many, but not all NASA reports are indexed in VIRGO. The following list of major NASA report series codes and corresponding SuDoc call numbers may be helpful in searching for reports.

Contractor Reports (CR) NAS 1.26
Conference Publications (CP) NAS 1.55
Educational Publications (EP) NAS 1.19
Reference Publications (RP) NAS 1.61
Special Publications (SP) NAS 1.21
Technical Memorandums (TM) NAS 1.15
Technical Notes (TN) NAS 1.14
Technical Papers (TP) NAS 1.60
Technical Reports (TR) NAS 1.12

Online index and full-text resources:
  • Aerospace and High Technology Database 1962-current (UVA only)
    NOTE: Check first option under Subject Area to search this database. Provides citations to documents of basic and applied research in aeronautics, astronautics, and space sciences; in addition to journal literature, the database also includes coverage of reports issued by NASA and other U.S. government agencies. See search tips.
  • NTRS Nasa Technical Reports Server
    Includes full-text current NASA technical reports, 1958-present. See browse feature and search help.

  • NACA Digital Library National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
    Indexes and abstracts for technical reports issued 1915-1958, some full-text. See browse feature and search help.
  • Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports (STAR)
    Note (1/22/13): "Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports (STAR) is no longer published. There is no direct replacement for it. The RSS feed "New NASA STI" includes NASA documents that would formerly have appeared in STAR, plus reports received from the NATO Research and Technology Organization, so it is the most complete alerting service now. The RSS feed "New NASA STI Report Series" includes only NASA reports that are part of the formal report series, such as Special Publication, Technical Memorandum, and Technical Report series. For information on these RSS feeds, please see http://www.sti.nasa.gov/sti-tools/#rss "


  • AGARD (Advisory Group for Aerospace Research & Development) Reports
    AGARD is a NATO Agency formed in April 1954 and publishes some 40 to 50 unclassified scientific or technical publications each year. Search for AGARD/RTO Technical Publications at the NASA Technical Reports Server and the NATO Research and Technology Organization and the NATO Research and Technology Organization web site.

Resources for searching across multiple U.S. agencies

  • Finding Aid for Report Numbers: Dictionary of Report Series Codes
    Z6945.A2 S6 1962, Brown Library Stacks
  • Finding Aid for Report Numbers: Government Reports Annual Index (print) 1977-1994.
    Call number C 51.9/4:. Located in Government Information Resources. This index is the precursor to the NTIS database.

  • Finding Aid for Report Numbers: Report Series Codes Dictionary
    Z6945.A2 R45 1986, Brown Library Stacks
    Indexes only the NTIS catalog from 1979 to May 1985.
  • E-print Network
    "a gateway to over 13,750 Web sites and databases worldwide, containing e-prints in basic and applied sciences, primarily in physics but also including subject areas such as chemistry, biology and life sciences, materials science, nuclear sciences and engineering, energy research, computer and information technologies, and other disciplines of interest to DOE."
  • National Technical Information Service (NTIS) - Subject Coverage
    The (NTIS), an agency of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, is the central source for the public sale of U.S. government-sponsored research, development, and engineering reports. UVA owns some NTIS reports, which are cataloged in VIRGO. See also link below to the NTIS database (UVA only).
  • NTIS Database (UVA only) 1983-current
    Index only. Contains bibliographic citations and summaries of information products, including technical reports, software packages, and data files. This database is the online version of the Government Reports Announcements & Index. See also Government Reports Annual Index (print) 1977-1994. Call number C 51.9/4:. Located in Government Information Resources. This index is the precursor to the NTIS database.


  • NTIS Technical Reports Search (1964-current) Index only
    NTIS web site free search for documents published since 1964. Index only
  • Science.gov
    Federal gateway site for technical and scientific research and literature
  • TRAIL
    Technical Report Archive and Image Library (TRAIL) - digitized tech reports from multiple agencies. From the Center for Research Libraries (CRL).

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