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Technical Reports: Home


Technical reports are "works that describe the progress or results of scientific or technical research and development," usually produced in response to a specific request or research need, which serve as a report of accountability to the funding organization. Technical reports usually fall into two categories: government sponsored research reports and privately funded research reports. Both categories may include national or international reports by university departments, institutes, private industry, or government agencies and laboratories.

Technical 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.

The University Libraries have a collection of over 1.5 million technical reports, with major holdings of reports by DOE, NASA, EPA, and their contractors. Most of the reports are on microfiche and are filed in fiche cabinets located in the fiche cabinets in the basement floor of Lockwood Library. Reports on microfiche are filed either by technical report number (e.g., BNL-25708, NASA-CR-182000) or NTIS accession number (e.g., AD-678750 or PB-182571). Most of our print technical reports are filed by SuDoc number (e.g., I 19.76:91-500) on the first floor of the Lockwood Library in our U.S. Government Documents Collection. However, some print reports may be filed by LC Class in our regular Lockwood Book Collection.

To determine if we have a particular technical report, begin by searching the UB Libraries' Catalog. Technical reports are cataloged  either individually or serially (meaning that there is a single serial record describing the series as a whole with detailed volume holdings information noted telling you exactly which volumes, or paper numbers, we own).

If a report is not listed in the Catalog, it does not mean we do not own it. Other tools that can be used to identify and locate technical reports include a number of electronic databases and print indexes, including the NTIS Database (see below).

If we do not own a report, you may fill out an Delivery+ request for it and we will try to obtain a copy of it from another library.

Microfiche readers/printers/scanners are available in the basement of the Lockwood Library for viewing and/or scanning.

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.