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CEBE Resources: Technical Reports


This section is concerned with technical reports published as part of a series by an organization. Technical reports are often produced for sponsors of commercial projects. They rarely go through a peer-review procedure. However, they are often written by experienced practitioners and often provide valuable advice on best practice. They are considered as grey literature.

US Government reports are available through the websites of Government departments such as the National Technical Reports Library via the US Department of Commerce's National Technical Information Services (NTIS), NASA's Technical Reports Server NTRS, Los Alamos National Laboratory's Research Library, US Department of Energy's Office for Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), publicly available reports from the Defense Technical Information Center and TRID (Transport Research International Documentation) the world's largest bibliographic resource on transportation research produced and maintained by the Transportation Research Board of the US National Academies (Science, Engineering and Medicine).

Technical papers

The Technical Report Archive & Image Library (TRAIL) identifies, catalogues, digitizes and provides unrestricted access to US Government agency technical reports. 

UK Government reports are published on the website but access to historical reports from the mid-1990s or earlier may prove more difficult to obtain online. UK organizations in construction publish their technical reports via their websites but many of these will not be freely available. Start with the Construction Information Service (see below) which amalgamates many of these reports into an index of standards, regulatory and advisory documents for the UK and Irish construction industries with full text versions of the original documents in Adobe PDF format.

In general, engineers tend to rely on their own knowledge, colleagues and their own organization sources more than technical information (Phillips et al., 2019; Wellings and Casselden, 2019). The technical literature they do rely on tends to be in the form of technical reports, catalogues, handbooks and trade journals rather than academic journal articles (Case and Given, 2016: 263).

Construction Information Service

SAE Technical Papers

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