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Environmental Science Research Guide: Websites


What Are Technical Reports?

Reports Literature: As mentioned earlier Reports Literature is considered a Primary Source and most Government Agencies publish these reports. They are also called Technical Reports.

Technical reports are reports of scientific research from government agencies, research laboratories, and educational institutions. They are sometimes called "gray literature" because they are typically unavailable through commercial publishers.

Indexes for technical reports also often include citations for conference papers, dissertations, and other materials published by agencies that sponsor research. Frequently, technical reports are part of a series, so the titles of individual reports are not listed in the library's catalog -- only the series is listed.  You may need to use indexes, such as those listed above, to get report numbers or series information.  Then a librarian can help you locate the reports in the NCSU Libraries.

Multi-topic Indexes

  • NTIS —  Most government-sponsored research is indexed in this database.  Use the NTIS number (often beginning with a "PB" or "AD" prefix) to locate microfiche copies of reports.  Print copies may be available for some reports—ask a librarian for help.
  • —  An internet portal to government information for all the sciences.
  • National Academies Press — this is a free, internet-available collection of over 3,000 full textbooks on science and technology topics. Books are also available for purchase.


  • NTRS (NASA)—NASA Technical Reports Server. Ask a reference librarian if you need help finding these reports in the NCSU Libraries. They can be tricky to find, because they have a complicated publishing history, with some reports available in print, some in microfiche, and some full-text via NTRS).

Computer Science

  • NCSTRL — Networked Computer Science Technical Reference Library.  A collaborative project from NASA-Langley, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.


  • DOE Information Bridge – Full-text DOE research reports from 1995 forward.
  • Energy Citations Database)– Citations to reports from 1948  to today.  Energy and energy-related scientific and technical information from the Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies, the Energy Research & Development Administration (ERDA), and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).
  • E-Print Network - A gateway to over 16,100 Web sites and databases worldwide, offering pre-publication drafts of journal articles (preprints), scholarly papers, technical communications, or similar documents relaying research results among peer groups.
  • Energy Files - Search distributed databases simultaneously.


  • NSCEP—National Service Center for Environmental Publications.
  • National Library for the Environment —a gateway to many websites, providing access to technical reports and other types of publications.

Math and Physics


  • Public STINet — Unclassified and public technical reposrts and standards and specifications from the Department of Defense.


  • FRIS—Fire Research Information Services, from the Building and Fire Research Laboratory.




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