Q: What are the reasons for not using people's names in a technical report?

1 Answer to this question

A technical report is a document describing the process, progress, and results of your research in an objective manner. Some common areas in which technical reports are used are agriculture, engineering, and biomedical science.

Many scholarly journals publish technical reports, and such reports are not anonymous, i.e., author names do indeed appear in the report. However, sometimes, technical reports published by an institutional department, company, or government body might be anonymous or use the name of the organization rather than names of individual authors. Such reports are distributed by the organization and not by a publisher, and they do not typically undergo peer review. Such literature is considered gray literature. The aim of such a technical report is to give an official statement of research findings to sponsors or employers.

If the organization you work for has asked for such a report and the instructions say that author names are not to be provided, you will need to adhere to this requirement. A possible reason might be the confidential nature of the work (e.g., a technical report on the progress of weapon development by the defense department to be submitted to the government).

From your question, we are guessing that perhaps your report falls in this category rather than an academic technical report meant for a journal. Note that you will need to follow the format and conventions of the platform where you intend to submit. If you are not willing to publish anonymously, you could consider a different platform for your technical report, as long as you are not violating any contract or confidentiality clause with your organization. [For a scenario that discusses the possible infringement of a contract or confidentiality clause, you may refer to this recent query by another researcher: What action should I take if I am not being permitted to publish my research outcome?]

Now, while a technical report is different from an academic paper, there are some principles that are similar. For that, you may find it useful to refer to this article: Our secret recipe (with 5 key ingredients) for a winning manuscript

Hope that helps. In case you are indeed writing a technical report, all the best for it!