Introduction -- what is a Technical report
The purpose of this guide is to help with the identification and retrieval of technical reports.
What is a Technical Report?
Source of Definitiion: Georgia Tech
"A technical report is a document written by a researcher detailing the results of a project and submitted to the sponsor of that project. Many technical reports are government-sponsored and are on microfiche. DOE, NASA and the Department of Defense are top sponsors. A number of U.S. government sponsors now make technical reports available full image via the internet.
Although technical reports are very heterogeneous, they tend to possess the following characteristics:
- technical reports may be published before the corresponding journal literature
- content may be more detailed than the corresponding journal literature, although there may be less background information since the sponsor already knows it
- technical reports are usually not peer reviewed unless the report is separately published as journal literature
- classified and export controlled reports have restricted access.
- obscure acronyms and codes are frequently used"
Definition used with permission from Georgia Tech
Although technical reports are especially prominent in the physical sciences and some engineering fields, technical reports are also part of the literature in agriculture, biomedical sciences, and the social sciences. In addition to documenting government-sponsored research, technical reports may be used to document internal research and development activities of commercial companies, non-governmental and not-for-profit organizations, and educational institutions and departments. These reports may be called variously as white papers, working papers, or gray literature.