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I'm in the field of engineering, electrical engineering specifically. I find myself with several technical reports and notes I've written over the years, and some colleagues have asked me for these. I think these may be beneficial to others, too and I'd like to make these publicly available somehow.

I've refrained from using the word "publishing", because I don't ever intend to submit it to a conference or a journal - the type of material just isn't right. See here http://www.mers.byu.edu/docs/reports/MERS9401.pdf for an example (I'm not the author of this particular note). arXiv doesn't cover electrical engineering topics; also, I doubt my reports would qualify "preprints", because preprints, as I understand, is something the author intends to publish eventually.

I know some folks who post these on their websites, but the danger is that self-maintained websites may eventually disappear, and with the websites, the reports themselves. Is there a good solution we have about this today? Perhaps a public repository?

  • Might be overkill for what you're looking for, but consider checking out the Open Science Framework. I'm not sure it's a perfect fit -- maybe more so if you were posting experimental data to accompany the technical report -- but it might lead you down the path you're looking. – tonysdg Dec 21 '16 at 6:38
  • Alternatively, if you're associated with a university, try contacting your department/area librarian. The university itself might have a service you can use - similar to how theses and dissertations are often preserved online nowadays. – tonysdg Dec 21 '16 at 6:42
  • arXiv does cover many topics in electrical engineering. (Communication networks, signal processing, control systems, etc.) – ff524 Oct 26 '17 at 17:35
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If you are affiliated with an academic institution, many have some sort of mechanism for publishing tech reports, e.g. via DSpace. This is the ideal solution, since it is designed for exactly the sort of publication that you are looking for.

Failing that, I would suggest looking a little bit closer into arXiv. Many of the topics are quite vague, and depending on the topic, your work might well fit into something like cs.IT (Information Theory) or cs.SY (Systems and Control), or a number of other areas.

Finally, a possible fallback is to simply publish via a fairly stable repository like GitHub, which means it is at least not dependent on your own server, but an institution that is intended to be maintained over many years.

  • I would suggest GitHub. It gives us option of version control as well. – Coder Dec 22 '16 at 3:56
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To start with, a good news: engrXiv is a novel eprint server for engineering.

Then, congratulations for willing to share your notes. Many interesting insights dwell in so-called personal communications or grey literature, and it is a pity of the cumulative advancement of science and technology. You should not refrain from using the word "publishing", because you what to make it public, which is the original meaning.

So, in order:

  • do not hesitate to put your notes in a usable form (author, institution, date, version especially in case you make updates), with a long lasting format (maybe not word, and postscript is a bit outdated...)
  • check with your institution first (for the rights) and if they have repositories
  • as institutions change, architecture varies, the link to your notes can get broken, so do not hesitate to duplicate:
    • open archives are nice as say in other answers: arXiv of course, and the offsprings: engrXiv, SocArXiv (social science) bioRXiv (biology), etc. but also CiteSeerX, github (some proposed by other answers)
    • on a personal website, greedy search engines will swallow it to keep it "forever"
    • other for-now free services (Academia, ResearchGate)

Apart from the document itself, it is quite important to be able to know that it exists, so a good abstract and keywords shall not be forgotten.

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An easy and reliable solution is to post your reports on Figshare. While Figshare is primarily aimed at archiving data and figures, it happily accepts a wide variety of inputs, including written reports. I have used Figshare as a place to put things that may be useful to others but are not appropriate for arXiv.org, such as User manuals for software packages, grant proposals, and supercomputer time proposals. Lots of other people are doing this; just take a look at the 'proposal' tag on Figshare.

I think Figshare is also a more reliable place than, e.g. Github in terms of long-term persistent availability of your work. See this explanation, which includes the following:

Items will be retained for the lifetime of the repository. figshare has been working hard to establish a business model that supports sustainability of the research outputs hosted on figshare. Our publisher model requires an SLA statement guaranteeing 10 years of persistent availability.

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Zenodo seems like an excellent option. Salient points from their brief self-description on their front page:

  • All research outputs from across all fields of research are welcome!
  • Uploads gets a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to make them easily and uniquely citeable.
  • Flexible licensing — because not everything is under Creative Commons.
  • Your research output is stored safely for the future in the same cloud infrastructure as CERN's own LHC research data.

As far as I can tell, there is no fee for authors. Furthermore, they support DOI versioning, so you can upload updated versions of your reports without overwriting the original. The combination of DOI support and CERN backing mean that it should be a reliable choice for long-term archiving.

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