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Big6EngineeringResources: Technical Reports

Central portal for the main engineering resources available through the Purdue Libraries


Technical reports are in depth studies of a particular technology or process, typically contracted by a federal agency or corporation.  These technical reports typically address a very specialized subject, but in great detail, so they can be quite valuable sources of information.  

Some technical reports are indexed with journals and can be found in the 'Find Articles' tab, but there are specialized indexes of technical report information, typically of reports sponsored by the US Government. 

Technical Report Sources

  • Sci-Tech Connect - Portal to US technical reports, consolidating reports from a variety of federal agencies.
  • NTIS (National Technical Information Service)  
    Another index of U.S. government-sponsored research and worldwide scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information (1964 - present); some reports are at Purdue; others can be purchased by the library on request.
  • DTIC Technical Reports
    Indexes publications from the Defense Technical Information Center (mid 1970s - present). Click on pull-down menu. Select Technical Reports. Many publications are full-text.
  • NASA Technical Reports Server
  • The library has a substantial collection of print and microfiche technical reports as well, not all of which are easy to find.  Please ask for assistance to help locate a technical report. If we do not own a technical report, we will also purchase many reports as needed (indicate in the Notes field that it is a technical report, so we can route the request most efficiently).

TRAIL technical report digitiziation intiative

The TRAIL project is an initiative sponsored by academic libraries around the country to digitize older technical reports that are otherwise very difficult to find.  TRAIL focuses on technical reports published before 1976, which oftern are not included in indexes to the technical report literature.

For example, much of the seminal work in nuclear physics and health effects of radition was done in the 1930's-1950's, prior to widespread electronic access to material.