Research reports are generally written and published by organizations. They might be made available by the organization on its website, or they might also sell access/printed copies to libraries.
Don't confuse these reports with research articles published in journals. Reports are more like a book, often hundreds of pages long.
There's no one best place to search for these, but there are three good options: Library Catalogue, a database, and the web (Google).
Characteristics of a Report
Look for these as hints that it's a report, rather than a book:
- long, descriptive title
- the author is an organization rather than a person - usually a non-profit organization
- the publisher is often also the organization
- if it's prepared by a government group, it is likely shelved in our Government Publications section of the Library
Places to Search:
Start by searching the Library Catalogue, using a keyword search. We've purchased many reports, in print and online.
If you know who wrote the report, include a word from the organization's name as a search term.
- example: 'united way' and housing
Otherwise, just search for your topic and look through the results for something that looks like a report.
Below is an example of a Library Catalogue description of a research report.
The Canadian Documents Collection includes thousands of research reports from Canadian organizations. The majority of these are also listed in the Library Catalogue, with direct links to the database, but you can search the database directly.
Canadian Documents Collection
Monograph publications from Canadian public policy institutes, government agencies, advocacy groups, think-tanks, university research centres and other public interest groups. The organizations included in this collection represent the leading edge of primary research and opinion in all areas of Canadian public policy. Their publications are vital to the understanding of developing issues in every arena of Canadian public life.
Includes the Canadian Health Research Collection from agencies working in the area of health and medical research. The organizations included in this collection are active publishers of primary research in the field. The publications included are both general policy documents as well as those of a specialized technical nature.
There are over 40,000 titles in the current combined collection to date, and the service provides 300-400 new current titles to subscribers every month.
Many publications are available on the websites of the organizations that produce them.
- Search the web for the organization and look for a link to publications.
- Look at some of the websites on the Websites tab (top of this page).
A regular Google search could be very useful for finding these documents if they're on the web. Try searches like:
- mental health research
- addiction research report
- poverty research
- childrens aid research