The vast majority of engineering research, development and technology acquisition addresses a particular need or problem. For many organisations, reports are the primary means of technical communication.
Reports must be detailed enough to satisfy the requirements of the funder or contractor of the research; their detailed nature is their greatest strength as an information source.
Technical reports may contain experimental procedure, production data, specifications, standards, operating plans, drawings and/or raw results. They will set out the conclusions and recommendations to come from the research, and include all aspects of the research, sometimes including those parts that failed. The information is very specific and rich in experimental detail.
A large amount of valuable information contained in reports will never be formally published as a journal article or within a book.
Many reports are not published for a wider audience, so they can be difficult to find.
Sources for technical reports
NTRS gives access to NASA's current and historical aerospace research and engineering results, with approximately 500,000 aerospace-related citations, 90,000 full-text online documents, and 111,000 images and videos.
A simple way to search for and access a broad range of technical literature related to the oil and gas exploration and production industry. From one place, you can search documents from many professional societies or similar organisations.
There is a link at the top-right of the OnePetro homepage to the list of currently participating organisations.
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) technical papers
Automotive and aerospace technical papers presented at SAE conferences.
SAE digital library (from 1998 onwards)
This contains references to all SAE publications and some publications from other automotive and aerospace publishers dating back to 1900, but our full-text subscription covers papers published since 1998 only.
SAE technical papers (1999-2006)
View these on the standalone PC on level 10 of the Edward Boyle Library (the first PC next to the printer). This is a back-up in case of losing online access.
SAE technical papers (1992-1998)
These are available on microfiche.
Ask at the EBL enquiry desk for the paper you want by quoting the six-digit technical paper number - the first two digits are the year of publication (eg 961969). There is a microfiche reader on level 10 of the Edward Boyle Library and a reader-printer in the Brotherton Library corridor between the round reading room and the West building.*
Printing charges are 4.5p per A4 sheet.
*Reference materials may not usually be removed from the Library but, under these circumstances, the papers will be checked out to you temporarily to allow you to take them from the Edward Boyle Library to the Brotherton Library for printing.
SAE technical papers (pre-1992)
Request these papers through document supply, for £5 per paper. Give as much reference information as you can when you fill in the request form. You can find bibliographic reference details of all SAE technical papers in the SAE digital library.
Contact the mechanical engineering faculty team librarian for further help.