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 procedures, 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
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.
NTRS gives access to NASA's current and historical aerospace research and engineering results, with approximately 500,000 aerospace-related citations, over 300,000 full-text online documents, and 500,000 images and videos.
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) technical papers
Automotive and aerospace technical papers presented at SAE conferences.
SAE digital library (from 1906 onwards)
This contains full-text access to all SAE publications and some publications from other automotive and aerospace publishers dating back to 1906.