Chapter 4: More About Proposed, Ongoing, and Completed Research
Funding for transportation research is limited, so we need to make the best use of the funding available. Prior to initiating research, it is important to search databases of research needs and ongoing and completed research. This facilitates the formation of partnerships and collaborations, allows transportation research to be coordinated, facilitates the identification of champions, prevents the duplication of efforts, and saves time and money.
There are two databases and a number of websites containing transportation research needs:
RNS: The Research Needs Statement (RNS) Database is a searchable database of high priority research needs developed and vetted by TRB’s technical committees covering all modes of transportation.
TERI: AASHTO’s Transportation and Environment Research Ideas (TERI) database contains environmental research needs.
Web sites: Research needs in the above two databases, as well as a number of websites can be searched all at once through the Transportation Research Needs Google Custom Search.
Recently, TRB and AASHTO have agreed to coordinate research ideas. All RNS environmental research ideas will be searchable in the TERI database. Also, all TERI entries will be reviewed for possible vetting by the appropriate TRB committee. Those vetted will be added to the TRB RNS database.
RiP: TRB’s Research in Progress (RiP) Database contains more than 10,000 current or recently completed research projects from the state departments of transportation, the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers, TRB, and international organizations. The RiP website allows users to search and locate organizations and individuals conducting research on topics of interest. The RiP Database provides contact information for agencies and individuals involved in research, thereby facilitating the networking and sharing of research information and preventing duplication.
Web sites: A number of individual websites may also be searched for ongoing research, including those of state DOTs, universities, and other organizations. However, the RiP Database is intended to be the one-stop shop for ongoing transportation research. State DOT research and development websites can be accessed via the AASHTO Standing Committee on Research and RAC Website.
TRID [Transportation Research International Documentation]: In 2011, TRB and ITRD released TRID - the TRID and ITRD Database. 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.
TRID contains more than 900,000 records of references to books, technical reports, conference proceedings, and journal articles in the field of transportation research covering all modes and disciplines, making it the largest resource covering published transportation research. Articles from more than 500 journal titles are indexed into TRID along with conference papers, technical reports, and books. TRID is a cooperative database, receiving records from several sources including transportation libraries at Northwestern University and the University of California, Berkeley; and the Transportation Association of Canada. Recently a database of environmental impact statements from Northwestern University’s Transportation Library and records of theses and dissertations were included in TRID. TRID records contain links to the full text of documents or direct ordering information when available. Recently, links were added to aid users in finding a library that owns the document. TRID is also available through two commercial vendors—TRANSPORT, from Ovid; and TRIS, on Dialog. For further information visit the TRID webpage.
TRB Electronic Circular E-C194: Literature Searches and Literature Reviews for Transportation Research Projects presents a concise resource for identifying relevant transportation research and integrating the results into a literature review.
WorldCat: The largest database of library collections in the world is WorldCat. WorldCat, which searches over 20 transportation libraries (public and private) for published material. WorldCat is maintained by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC).
NTL: The National Transportation Library (NTL) provides an integrated search tool to search TRIS Online, NTL catalog, NTL Digital Repository, and other websites either individually or together. The NTL offers other resources for transportation information on the home page: including topical bibliographies, rural and agricultural transportation resources, transportation statistics, and legislative and regulatory resources.
Web sites: Various websites that exist to search completed research include those of state DOTs and universities.