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Civil Engineering Research: Technical Reports

Collections & Databases

Technical reports describe the progress and/or results of research usually performed under contract to an agency of the federal government, such as NASA, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, etc. These reports are often more detailed than articles in the peer-reviewed journal literature. They may be hundreds of pages long and may include supporting materials that never make it into journal publications, such as data sets or programming code. In addition, researchers in the private sector may not have any incentive to publish the results of contracted research in a peer-reviewed journal, as academic researchers do, and so the technical report they write for their funding agency may represent the first, and only, place that a particular piece of research is published.

For more information, visit the Technical Reports Research Guide.

To explore the technical report literature, use the following databases:
  • MCEER Technical Reports
    Reports produced by MCEER, the research center at the University at Buffalo dedicated to the discovery and development of new knowledge, tools and technologies that equip communities to become more disaster resilient in the face of earthquakes and other extreme events.

  • Homeland Security Digital Library
    Covers all aspects of homeland security and emergency management, from terrorist threats through natural disasters. Includes the full text of major legislation and policy documents as well as Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports, General Accountability Office (GAO) reports, think tank reports, federal agency reports, and state and local agency reports. More Info

  • NTIS
    Leads to reports written by individual researchers and agencies under contract to the federal government covering research in all areas of technology and the physical and life sciences. More Info

  • NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)
    NASA issues numerous reports dealing not only with aeronautics and space, but with aerospace-related aspects of earth resources, energy, the environment, and medicine.

  • Dept. of Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) Technical Reports
    Publicly available, unclassified technical reports published since 1974.

    Includes technical reports, bibliographic citations, journal articles, conference papers, books, multimedia, and data information sponsored by the Dept. of Energy. More info

Note: Many technical reports are freely available on the Web at the sponsoring agency's website. If the databases above do not include the full text of a specific report you are interested in, try finding the full text by using the following strategies:

  • Use Google or another Internet search engine to find the report either by title, author, or report number;
  • Go to the sponsoring agency's website and browse/search the site.

Engineering Librarian

Erin Rowley's picture
Erin Rowley
108A Lockwood Library
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260

Citation Management Software

UB has a site license to EndNote, software that allows you to collect, store, organize, retrieve, and automatically format references to journal articles, books, patents, and more in your papers.  Contact me for more information.