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Technical reports are generally unpublished papers that form a particularly large body of computer science literature due to the need for rapid dissemination in this field. Much of this material does NOT undergo peer review so it should be carefully evaluated when used. Here are a few sites to be aware of:
If Penn doesn't own a journal issue that you need, you can use this form to request the article. It will be delivered within 5 business days, sometimes even overnight!
Journal and Conference Papers
Journal articles can help you delve deeper into your topic than books and encyclopedias. Review articles will give you an overview of the state of a field over a period of time (pay attention to the publication date; they go out-of-date quickly). Research articles tell you exactly how a scientist performed his or her experiments and interpreted the results.
These resources help you find journal articles in various fields related to your projects.
CiteSeer is a scientific literature digital library that aims to improve the dissemination and feedback of scientific literature, and to provide improvements in functionality, usability, availability, cost, comprehensiveness, efficiency, and timeliness.
Google's search engine focused on scholarly literature.
Companies tend to file for patents instead of publishing in journals because a patent grants the holder exclusive use of the technology described for a set period of time (usually 20 years). 60-80% of material in the patent literature is published nowhere else. It is important for a company to understand the scope of protected technology to know in which areas they can freely operate.
Covers 44 patent issuing authorities from 1963-present. (Dates of coverage differ for the various authorities.) Derwent rewrites patent titles and abstracts to make them easier to locate and comprehend. PDF full text is linked to many records.
Covers patents from over 80 authorities, including Europe, the World Intellectual Patent Organization, the US, Japan, and China. Dates of coverage vary by authority. PDF full text is available for many recent patents.
Searches granted patents from the United States, Australia, and Europe, as well as published patent applications from the United States, Australia, Europe, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Allows a full-text search of many of these authorities' patents, and links to PDF where available.
Includes TIFF images of every patent issued by the United States (1790 forward), as well as searchable HTML full text of all patents since 1976. TIFF images can be assembled into downloadable PDF files using a free patent fetcher: http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/8474/1.
More Information About Patents
These guides provide you with more in-depth information about various types of literature.