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Technical Reports

Library research guide listing sources of information for reports generated by scientific research projects.

The Government Documents Card Catalog

The government documents card catalog at the Library of Science and Medicine (LSM) serves as an index to the uncataloged document collections in LSM, including technical reports from federal agencies. Most technical reports are checked in by the series number of the report, on a card filed by issuing agency. The title on the card will be the series report title. For example, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA Technical Reports: NMFS (series). The reports will be shelved in the documents collection by the call number indicated in the upper left hand corner of the card, in this case, LSM DOCUS C 55.13:

Many technical reports issued prior to 1980 have been sent to the library ANNEX; these cards will have plastic sleeves noting that the numbers checked in on the cards are "in storage". The library also has many reports in microfiche format. The card will either say "microfiche" above the call number in the left hand corner of the card, or the report series number will be checked in red ink.

The Technical Report File is a special section of the federal government documents card catalog. Cards in this section of the catalog are arranged by technical report number. Cards with technical report number prefixes instead of a complete technical report number refer you to the proper agency card in the documents card catalog, where the report will be checked in by number on the series title card. Cards with complete technical report numbers will indicate the shelf location of the document in the left hand margin of the card.

Technical reports received since 2003 have complete catalog records. Search QuickSearch first, but if the search for an older document is unsuccessful, consult the LSM card catalog, or the printed Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications. Technical reports distributed by the Government Printing/Government Publishing Office since 1976 are listed in the online Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Microfiche Collections of Technical Reports

Department of Energy technical reports are filed by DE accession numbers. This microfiche collection begins with 1981 and ends with 1993. A small number of microfiche are filed by DOE report numbers. A smaller number of microfiche are filed by Superintendent of Document (SuDoc) classification numbers. Reports with SuDoc numbers are indexed in the government documents card catalog. The rest may be accessed by searching the site. View the full citation to find the DE accession number or DOE report number.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration technical reports received directly through the NASA Scientific and Technical Information Facility are filed by N accession numbers. This microfiche collection of unclassified NASA reports begins with 1980 and ends in 1992. Contractor reports, conference publications, technical memorandums, technical notes, technical papers, and technical reports are included, as well as educational publications, research publications, and special publications. In 1992, NASA ceased distribution of microfiche directly from its own facility, and began distribution jointly with the Government Printing Office Federal Depository Library Program. NASA microfiche distributed after 1992 are therefore filed by Superintendent of Documents classification numbers. Reports with SuDoc numbers are indexed in the government documents card catalog. The rest may be accessed by searching the NASA database.  If available, the accession number will appear on the results page, with an N following a two digit number that represents the year of the report.


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