Preprint of a paper TRB Paper No. 12-0872, submitted November 15, 2011 for the 91st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, January 22 - 26, 2012.


transportation research. The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) annually invests approximately $180 million in State Planning and Research (SPR) and University Transportation Centers (UTC). This investment generates an extensive portfolio of “grey literature” that is not yet uniformly cataloged or accessible, despite the best efforts of the National Technical Information Service, the Transportation Research Board, and the National Transportation Library. This paper reports on a review of publishing and archiving practices for transportation research technical reports, summarizes best practices, and recommends that UTC and SPR research programs seek and strengthen partnerships with libraries to facilitate improved production, stewardship and dissemination of research reports. This paper describes an open access program in Indiana that has digitally archived approximately 1,500 SPR reports dating to 1956, implemented consistent name authority, and created digital object identifiers (DOIs) for reports and data sets to systematically integrate technical reports into scholarly literature. Through new partnerships between the researchers and the home institution, researchers have developed processes to leverage technical report production with the university press to ensure agile adaptation to emerging digital publishing and open access trends. It is suggested the adoption of the techniques and partnership herein described will result in more efficient investment of state and national transportation research funds by further reducing research duplication and by demonstrating improved stewardship of research dollars.


transportation, gray literature, grey literature, technical reports, library science, publishing

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