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BEV BUTULA: DTIC offers range of scientific, technical research

It has been awhile since I wrote about a website that provides quality scientific or technical research.

The Defense Technical Information Center, which directly serves the Department of Defense, offers a variety of information for legal researchers. Unclassified reports filed with the DTIC are available online and in full text.

Researchers should go directly to the Search Technical Reports link. From there, the Public Technical Reports search window will appear. This search box supports a variety of sophisticated search strategies, including Boolean operators, phrase searching, the ability to exclude terms, the ability to accept common/stop terms, along with various search tags (e.g. AU = author). Searchers may need to try a variety of queries or take advantage of the advanced search option to fine-tune the results.

Once the search is executed and the results display, the user will see the title, date and link to the PDF. Clicking on the actual title of the document produces the full abstract with author, summary, descriptors and subject categories. The collection is comprehensive; I located documents dating to the 1970s, covering a vast number of topics.

As an example, I ran a simple search for “Yellowstone National Park.” There were more than 200 results ranging from reports on sedimentation data for the Gibbon River to the migration of the elk herd. Another, more detailed search (ALLINTITLE: “hazardous waste” AND liability) resulted in two reports that might be relevant to legal researchers.

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