Search the TRAIL Collection at www.technicalreports.org
Value of Technical Report Literature
Technical reports communicate research progress in technology and science; they deliver information for technical development to industry and research institutions contributing to the continued growth of science and technology. These highly detailed reports contain valuable information serving specialized audiences of researchers.
Value of TRAIL
While access to more recent (1994–current) technical report literature has greatly improved with Internet access, older technical reports remain elusive to researchers. These reports are available, as most large research libraries across the country have sizeable collections of federally funded technical research reports—frequently a million or more--ranging from several pages to several hundred pages. However, they are elusive in the fact that they are not discoverable, having in most cases never been cataloged or systematically indexed.
In response to a call by the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) in early 2006 for proposals to address four new GWLA strategic directions, the University of Arizona submitted a proposal to develop a collaborative project with CRL to identify, digitize, and provide open access to federal technical reports. GWLA accepted the proposal as one of four strategic initiatives and the developed project became the Technical Report Archive & Image Library (TRAIL). GWLA members provided support in the early years of the TRAIL project. TRAIL is now a CRL Global Resources Network Initiative.
TRAIL identifies, acquires, catalogs, and digitizes technical reports issued primarily prior to 1976. TRAIL provides unrestricted access to these digitized technical reports through the TRAIL Search Interface.