TRB Executive Office
TRB's Executive Office is headed by Executive Director Neil Pedersen. The TRB Executive Office provides policy and operational guidance for programs and activities; oversees committee and panel appointments and report review; provides support and direction for human resource issues and staffing needs; develops and directs the Board’s communications and information technology efforts; operates a bibliographic database of transportation research and provides library reference services; provides staff support to the Executive Committee and its Subcommittee for National Research Council (NRC) Oversight (SNO); and maintains liaison with the executive offices of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the Board’s parent institution. The Executive Office also manages the editing, production, design, and publication of many TRB reports, including its journal series, TR New magazine, and other titles.
The Executive Office supports the work of the TRB Executive Committee, which provides policy direction to TRB programs and activities within the overall policies of the Academies. Oversight of committee and panel appointments and of report review is the responsibility of the Executive Committee’s SNO, which ensures that TRB meets institutional standards and that its activities are appropriate for the Academies. As part of its oversight function, the subcommittee monitors the Board’s progress in expanding the representation of minorities and women on TRB committees and panels.
Susan Hanson, TRB Division Chair for NRC Oversight, heads the subcommittee and represents TRB as an ex officio member on the NRC Governing Board. The Executive Office processes the Board’s large volume of committee and panel appointments and maintains committee membership records. A hallmark of the Academies is its institutional process to ensure the independent, rigorous review of reports. In maintaining these high standards, TRB follows Academies' guidelines that carefully match the review criteria and procedures to the type of report.
Program Development and Strategic Initiatives
In addition, the Executive Office is responsible for ensuring stable, long term revenue streams for TRB and for coordinating strategic initiatives across the board's various divisions. To carry out these responsibilities, the EO helps facilitate the increased use of technology to deliver TRB products and services; oversees the development and implementation of action plans for strategic, long term, cross cutting, and critical issues; encourages the exploration of new and innovative ways to facilitate information transfer within the rules of the Academies; helps promote the value of TRB products and services; oversees TRB’s international participation strategy; administers the Minority Student Fellows Program; and is responsible for helping to ensure the continued development of the next generation of TRB volunteers.
To fulfill one of its oldest missions, TRB disseminates transportation research results and technology information through an extensive array of timely publications. The Board has gained national and international prominence for its books and reports assessing the state of the art or practice in specific areas of transportation, presenting the results of transportation research, addressing major national transportation policy issues, and identifying research needs. TRB continues to expand its publishing effort by releasing a growing number of titles electronically, some exclusively in electronic format. TRB books and reports span the range of transportation functions, disciplines, and modes. The TRB Publications Office produces titles in the following series:
- Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board gathers technical papers that have been accepted for publication through a rigorous peer review process refereed by TRB technical committees. TRR Online, inaugurated in 2007, is an online subscription and pay-per-view service for the Transportation Research Record series. Record papers are posted to a searchable, password-protected section of the TRB website, which also includes all journal papers published since 1996. The service allows all visitors to identify papers of interest and to review abstracts of those papers. Access to the full papers is available to service subscribers and employees of TRB sponsors and on a pay-per-view basis to the general public.
- The bimonthly magazine TR News features timely articles on innovative and state-of-the-art research and practice in all modes of transportation. News items of interest to the transportation community, profiles of transportation professionals, book and journal summaries, meeting announcements, and highlights of TRB activities also are included. Selected features of TR News are posted on the TRB website, and the full issue is made accessible on the web on a four-month delay.
- Special Reports contain the results of TRB policy studies on issues of national importance in transportation. These studies, many conducted at the request of federal agencies or of Congress, focus on a variety of complex, often controversial, topics. All current and selected out-of-print special reports are posted on the Board’s website.
- Conference Proceedings assemble formal papers, presentations, and summaries of discussions from TRB conferences and workshops.
- Transportation Research E-Circulars collect research problem statements, reports, and technical information from the work of TRB technical activities committees. Circulars are available exclusively in electronic format on the TRB website.
- Miscellaneous Reports include special publications, such as the Highway Capacity Manual and the Access Management Manual.
The Executive Office is charged with developing, coordinating, and carrying out communications activities that span the entire organization. The following communications activities are overseen by the Executive Office:
- The Transportation Research E-Newsletter is a free weekly electronic service designed to keep individuals up-to-date on TRB activities and to highlight selected transportation research related activities taking place at the federal and state levels, and within the academic and international transportation communities. More than 63,000 people from around the world receive the E-Newsletter.
- The TRB Webinar Series produces approximately 100 webinars per year on a variety of topics. TRB’s webinars are produced with funding received from TRB Sponsors and TRB Sustaining Affiliates. Accordingly, employees of TRB Sponsors and TRB Sustaining Affiliates may attend the session without a fee. TRB is authorized to issue Professional Development Hours (PDH) for select, live webinars. TRB is also a registered with the American Planning Association's professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), to provide Certification Maintenance credits.
- TRB uses Social Media such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to help our audience stay connected to transportation research. Social media also helps TRB to better understand how its reports and products are being used.
Information Technology and Research Services
In late 2014, TRB reorganized and consolidated the management of the Information Technology (IT) and Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) departments. Both groups had key responsibilities that included the development, maintenance, and application of software in support of various TRB missions.
The IT department’s primary focus has shifted from the development of systems to operation, maintenance, and management. The new focus aligns with the TRIS staff’s responsibilities in relation to the Transport Research International Documentation (TRID) database, the Research in Progress (RiP) database and website, the Research Needs Statements (RNS) database, the Practice-Ready Papers (PRP) database, and the TRB Publications Index.
The responsibilities of the IT and Research Services group include customer support for internal and external users of TRB’s software systems; software enhancement and development; server and website monitoring and security; general IT support activities, such as training, documentation, and troubleshooting; and management and operation of transportation research services, bibliographic databases, and the TRB Library.
In January 2011, TRB and ITRD released TRID, the TRIS and ITRD Database. TRID is the world's largest and most comprehensive bibliographic resource on transportation research information. It is produced and maintained by the Transportation Research Board of the US National Academies with sponsorship by State Departments of Transportation, the various administrations at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other sponsors of TRB's core technical activities. ITRD is produced by ITRD member organizations under the under the sponsorship of Joint Transport Research Centre (collectively JTRC) of the International Transport Forum and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and ITRD. The records comprise published or ongoing research in English, German, French, or Spanish; more than 200,000 records link to full-text publications. The service offers simple and advanced searching and allows users to download and e-mail results, as well as to share via social media. TRID is available free of charge on TRB’s website.
The TRB Publications Index includes more than 65,000 citations and abstracts for all TRB, Highway Research Board (HRB), SHRP, and Marine Board publications since 1923. The index offers simple and advanced searching and allows users to download and e-mail the results in a variety of formats. Records contain links to available full-text documents and to ordering information.
Research Needs Statements Database
The RNS database is a dynamic collection of highest-priority topics developed by TRB technical standing committees. The database serves as a tool for reviewing research needs, setting research priorities, and identifying gaps in current research.
Research in Progress Database
RiP is a searchable database of records of active or recently completed research projects from State Departments of Transportation, the modal administrations at the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Transportation Research Board, and university transportation centers. The current awareness service notifies users about new and updated project records in specified subject areas. TRID offers users an option for searching the RiP database or the RiP and TRID databases simultaneously.
Practice-Ready Papers Database
The PRP database helps practitioners easily find TRB Annual Meeting and TRR papers identified by peer reviewers on TRB’s standing committees as presenting research results immediately applicable to problems or issues. The database offers a search by keywords, title, author, index term, subject area, and date of publication.
The TRB Library provides research and reference services to TRB sponsors, committee members, and staff. The library subscribes to almost 250 serial titles and contains the complete collection of TRB, HRB, SHRP, and Marine Board publications.
The TRB Library participates in the Eastern Transportation Knowledge Network and in the National Transportation Knowledge Network.