- Planning and Development
- Strategic Research Documents
- Unfunded and Partially Funded Research Needs
- Research Funding Guidebook
- Federal Research Programs
- International Research Programs
- State Departments of Transportation Programs
- Transportation Research Board
- University Transportation Centers
- Chapter 1: Introduction
- Chapter 2: What Are the Characteristics of the Research You Would Like to Have Funded?
- Chapter 3: Which Research Program is the Best Fit for Your Research Statement?
- Chapter 4: More About Proposed, Ongoing, and Completed Research
- Chapter 5: General Advice and Summary
- Appendix A: How to Write an Effective Research Statement
- Appendix B: How to Submit Updates to this Guidebook
- Appendix C: Contributors
Literature Searches and Literature Reviews for Transportation Research Projects: How to Search, Where to Search, and How to Put it all Together: Current Practices
Research projects sponsored by state departments of transportation (DOTs) routinely require a literature review as part of the research effort. The literature review is a critical portion of the research process in any field of inquiry and an important component of the final research report. For the researcher, a literature review helps to clarify the scope of the research project by creating a narrative of what is and is not known in the field and where there are areas of dispute. For the customer of the research and other readers, the review also provides valuable context, establishes the researcher?s expertise, and relates the findings of the project to what is already known.
However, investigators tasked with developing literature reviews for transportation research projects may not always be aware of the importance of the literature review or have an
adequate understanding of the necessary steps for producing a high-quality review. This may lead to the submission of literature reviews that are incomplete, unfocused, poorly explained, or otherwise inadequate. This E-circular is the result of a 2-year collaborative effort by more than 50 individuals.
The publication is aimed at all transportation researchers, including university investigators, graduate students, consultants, and practitioners at state and federal transportation agencies. The e-circular also will be useful to sponsors of research when conducting initial literature searches
and evaluating literature reviews to determine the quality of the products received.