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; and maintains liaison with the executive offices of the National Academies, the Board’s parent institution. The Executive Office also manages the editing, production, design, and publication of many TRB reports, including its journal series, 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 National Academies. Oversight of committee and panel appointments and of report review is the responsibility of the Executive Committee’s Subcommittee for NRC Oversight (SNO), which ensures that TRB meets institutional standards and that its activities are appropriate for the National 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 this subcommittee and represents TRB as an ex officio member on the NRC Governing Board. Henry G. (Gerry) Schwartz, Jr., serves as the SNO Vice Chair, with oversight responsibilities for the second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2). The Executive Office processes the Board’s large volume of committee and panel appointments and maintains committee membership records. A hallmark of the National Academies is its institutional process to ensure the independent, rigorous review of reports. In maintaining these high standards, TRB follows guidelines approved by the NRC 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 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; helps promote the value of TRB products and services; oversees TRB’s international participation strategy; 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 simultaneously with the release of each printed volume 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 2000 and the Access Management Manual.
In addition to the various communications activities that take place within each of TRB’s divisions that are designed to serve the needs of a particular constituency, 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 47,000 people from around the world receive the E-Newsletter.
- The TRB Webinar series provides transportation professionals a conference-like atmosphere to share and receive information, without the need to leave their own offices. TRB uses webinars to share information about upcoming TRB reports, previous sessions from the Annual Meeting, and topics requested by TRB committees. Each year, TRB holds approximately 60 webinars that average approximately 380 attendees per session.
- The TRB website is designed to help users find TRB news, announcements, and publications based on more than 35 different transportation subject areas. The site, which is visited about 3.3 million times per year, also highlights selected transportation research-related products that have been developed outside of TRB. RSS (really simple syndication), Facebook, e-mail to a friend, Twitter, and other functionalities make it easy for users to keep up with and share the latest on transportation research.
- TRB uses social media to communicate with individuals and organizations in a conversational format. TRB’s Twitter and Facebook accounts post news and information related to its events and reports, items related to the National Academies, and general, transportation-related information. Messages from TRB’s Twitter account, TRBofNA, are received by 7,400 followers. TRB’s Facebook page communicates with more than 2,700 fans.
Transportation Research Information Services
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 TRB Publications Index is a searchable database available on TRB's website that contains all TRB, Highway Research Board (HRB), Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), and Marine Board publications since 1923. The TRB Publications Index offers simple and advanced searching and allows users to view results, download the results in a variety of formats, and e-mail the results. The index provides direct web links to available full-text documents and to ordering information.
Research Needs Statements Database
The Research Needs Statements (RNS) Database is a dynamic collection of research needs statements reviewed and approved by the standing committees in TRB's Technical Activities Division. As such, the database reflects priority research needs at any given time. The collection of research needs statements are augmented and kept up to date by the TRB standing committees as part of their regular portfolio of activities.
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 RiP contains interational project records from OECD's International Transport Research Documentation's Transport Research in Progress (TRIP) Database.
Individuals from state DOTs and university transportation centers can add, modify, or delete records of research through a web-based data-entry system. A current awareness service notifies users automatically about new project records in specified subject areas.
The TRB Library is a small, specialized library that provides reference and information services to TRB sponsors, committee members, and staff. The library subscribes to more than 400 serial titles and contains a complete collection of TRB, HRB, SHRP, and Marine Board publications. The TRB Library also has access to a large number of electronic resources through the National Academies Library.