Oftentimes it’s necessary to look outside the mainstream academic-publishing box in order to survey the most current research in a given area. The peer review process is labor intensive and requires extensive organization and cooperation and it can take a piece of research a long time to make it through the peer review pipeline. Additionally, it can take research enterprises a long time to progress from their inception to a stage where they are producing the kind of outcomes that will get them into a mainstream research publication. If there’s a concern that the literature published in peer-reviewed and otherwise moderated venues aren’t telling the whole story, there are a number of repositories which provide access to work not published in mainstream channels. This includes conference proceedings, working papers, technical reports, patents, dissertations and theses and other genres of student research.
Academic and professional conferences are venues for showcasing in-progress research. The proceedings of conferences, which often contain Power Point files and the full text of oral presentations, are a good place to look for current or past research that was never or has not yet been published.
Working papers and technical reports are genres within the Electrical and Computer Engineering literature for work which is either in progress and hasn’t yet produced publishable results, or work which isn’t appropriate for publication in book form but is also too lengthy for a journal article.
The following databases do extensive indexing of Electrical and Computer Engineering conference proceedings, working papers, and technical reports and standards: