Technical reports are notoriously difficult to find. This guide will help you find NASA Technical Reports both online and in microfiche format using the various search techniques required at the Science and Engineering Library.
The Science and Engineering Library (SEL) has a collection of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) documents on-line and in fiche in addition to the material directly available in the On-Line Public Access Catalog (OPAC). These documents may be searched using the NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS), Scientific and Technical Aerospace Reports (STAR) and bibliographic information provided in the OPAC.
Searching the NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS):
A 'first search' of the NASA Technical Reports Server, which provides a quick and comprehensive search engine for unclassified NASA documents, may provide free full text of the requested report in a downloadable format. If the search does not produce the report or if a fee will be applied the document may be available in fiche format at SEL. NTRS is listed in Databases.
Searching NASA FICHE at SEL:
Establish the date of publication of the report as this will determine the index and type of information to search.
The publication date will be available in the NTRS abstract or may be in the OPAC record (from 1996-), if not provided in the citation. Use this date to obtain either a NASA Accession Number (-1995) or a NASA Record Number (1996-) before proceeding to the fiche cabinets labeled NASA1 and NASA2 on 3rd Floor East near the north wall.
As of May 8, 2013, the NASA Technical Reports Server contains more than 966,460 records, images, and documents for public research purposes. A subset of approximately 248,000 documents, largely consisting of older documents, including National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) materials, remain to be reviewed, and they will be loaded back to the NASA Technical Reports Server as soon as the reviews are completed by the originating NASA Centers.