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* UC Irvine access only

Technical Reports Collection: Finding Technical Reports - Databases & Portals


About Technical Report Literature

Most technical report literature is not cataloged by individual report, instead the reports can be found by series, issuing body and number.  The technical report number is usually the most critical piece of information in finding or identifying a technical report.  The MELVL Catalog should be consulted to see if there is a record with the report number or for the series.  If not, consulting the appropriate technical report database is recommended.

Identifying 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."


Since the majority of Technical Reports (TRs) are issued by Government Agencies, many TRs are located as part of Government Information collections.  It should also be noted that the release of TRs was once most prevalent in print and then in microforms, before the most recent online access became more common.  The UCI Libraries do not have an extensive collection of technical report literature, however we provide access to them via many databases.  This list will often abstract and provide citation information so that the full report can be obtained via ILL or through commercial document delivery if another library can not provide it.  Also, the richness of the University of California sister campus libraries makes many resources easily available.


There are several different kinds of databases:

  1. US Federal Government Agencies - these are listed and annotated.  The best way is to search by topic or series.  Record the TR # and full citation including date.
  2. General, Specific Subject and Multi-Subject Databases
  3. Commercial Sources - There are many databases, portals, and finding aids.  For delivery of resources that we do not have available either in print or in online fulltext , please contact UCI's Applied Sciences & Engineering Librarian before you spend any money to obtain a TR.  Even though there are costs often associated with these sources, they may be able to be obtained via ILL or another method.
  4. General, Specific Subject and Multi-Subject Databases
  5. Technical Report Literature published at other non-UC academic institutions
  6. University of California Technical Report Literature & Holdings


Government Agencies Issuing TRs, Databases & Portals

* indicates restricted to UCI affiliates

General Databases

Commercial Databases

* Indicates which of these databases are restricted to UCI community and external users must access them from a library terminal.

UC Databases

The University of California campuses and their research labs are major contributors to the Technical Report Literature.  The following sources will note outputs and holdings of these collections:


Academic Institutions TR Collection Databases

Most Technical Report Literature issued at Universities is from the Engineering, Information & Computer Science and other Science disciplines.  The major fields also now reflect Economics (usually called Working Papers), Psychology/Cognitive Sciences, and Education.  The migration from print issued reports to digital formats suggests that finding aids are better and are usually found on the Library Website or through the institution's online catalog, or referred to in Subject Guides.  Increasingly, the digital content is included in the Institutional Repository if there is one. Some inter-institutional portals and resources include:

Liaison Librarian

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Julia Gelfand
Office: Science Library 228

Phone: 949-824-4971