General Description of Technical Reports
Technical reports are documents that generally contain results of research and development supported by government grants or contracts. They can also come from private and corporate sponsored research. Although they are not usually formally refereed, they are an important form of scientific and technical information and communication.They are published by noncommercial publishers and are usually part of a numbered series.
For a detailed description of technical report literature see Subramanyam, Krishna. Scientific and Technical Information Resources.
How to Identify a Technical Report
Several characteristics of most reports will help track down the location of a report. These include: personal author(s), corporate author(s), issuing agency, title, publication date, contract or grant number, report number(s), order or accession number, number of pages, releasing agency, and distribution limitations, if any. The report number is the most important identification feature of a report. Report numbers usually consist of alphanumeric characters that designate some or all of the following: originating or contracting agency, series, accession number, subject classifications, form, date, and security classification. Reports often are assigned more than one report number. e.g., ADA-88-1098: AD=Dept of Def; A=Unclassified,Unlimited; 88=1988; 1098=the 1098 th in a series.