A good place to start searching for a U.S. technical report is Science.gov which covers over 55 databases and over 2100 selected websites from 15 federal agencies, offering 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information including research and development results.
More specific government agency databases are listed in the box below.
International technical reports (e.g. AERE is Britain's Atomic Energy Research Establishment) have their own search capabilities.
Technical or scientific reports describe the progress or results of scientific or technical research and development. They are often done by Federal government agencies or they may be funded or sponsored by government agencies but prepared by research institutions, universities, think tanks, or other governmental or non-governmental agencies. Publication and dissemination of technical reports has never been centrally coordinated; therefore, they can be particularly difficult to identify and locate.
Technical reports usually appear as part of a numbered series from the issuing agency. These numbers are important and are often the easiest way to find a specific report or document. Each agency has its own numbering system, however technical report number systems follow some common forms.
Many bibliographic references will include report numbers. The report numbers may take different forms. Examples might follow these formats:
CONF (followed by numbers….)
DOE (Department of Energy), NASA (space), and the DOD (defense) are top sponsors. EPA (environmental protection) is another important agency with substantial technical report work. A number of U.S. Government sponsors now make technical reports available full text online.