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.

Proposed Research

There are two databases and a number of websites that include transportation research needs:

RNS: The Research Needs Statement (RNS) Database is a searchable database of high-priority research needs developed and vetted by Transportation Research Board’s (TRB’s) technical committees covering all modes of transportation.

TERI: AASHTO’s Transportation and Environmental Research Ideas (TERI) Database contains environmental research needs.

Websites: and Reports Research needs can also be found on RPPM, as well as in various TRB E-Circulars.

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.

Ongoing Research

RiP: TRB’s Research in Progress (RiP) Database  contains current or recently completed research projects from the state departments of transportation (DOTs), the U.S. DOT, University Transportation Centers and TRB. 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.

***Users can create RSS feeds for specific searches in RiP. These RSS feeds can be delivered to the user’s email system. If you do not know how to set up an RSS feed for your specific email system, contact your organization’s librarian or IT staff.***

Websites: 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 website for the AASHTO Special Committee on Research and Innovation and its Research Advisory Committee (RAC).

Completed Research

TRID (Transportation Research International Documentation): In 2011, TRB and ITRD released TRID, the TRIS and ITRD Database. TRID (Transport Research International Documentation) 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 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine with sponsorship by state DOTs, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and various federal agencies, 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 TRID Database contains records of references to books, technical reports, conference proceedings, and journal articles in the field of transportation research. Records in TRID are indexed with a standardized vocabulary from the Transportation Research ThesaurusITRD Thesaurus or a different thesaurus depending on the source organization.

In addition to the material that is indexed and abstracted at TRB and from ITRD, TRID receives records from several sources, including:

  • Transportation-related research from the J-STAGE Database maintained by the Japan Science and Technology Agency and
  • The Australian Transport Index, a database providing information on Australian and New Zealand land transport publications.

Visit the TRID website for additional information.

***Users can create RSS feeds for specific searches in TRID. These RSS feeds can be delivered to the user’s email system. If you do not know how to set up an RSS feed for your specific email system, contact your organization’s librarian or IT staff.***

Literature Searches and Literature Reviews for Transportation Research Projects: Getting Started 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 transportation libraries (public and private) for published material, is maintained by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) OCLC Home Page

NTL: The National Transportation Library (NTL) provides a digital library available through the Repository & Open Science Access Portal (ROSA P). This portal contains multiple collections that can be searched individually or all at the same time.

Websites: State DOT and university websites are among those that can be searched to identify completed research.