Implementing Transportation Knowledge Networks - NCHRP 20-75

Principal Investigator:

Arlene Mathison, Director, Digital Info & Lib. Svcs., Center for Transportation Studies

Co-Investigator

  • Gina Baas, Associate Director, Center for Transportation Studies

Project Summary:

In early 2006 TRB released "Special Report 284: Transportation Knowledge Networks: A Management Strategy for the 21st Century," which concerns "how to improve the identification, collection, accessibility, and preservation of information so... resources can be better circulated and shared among users." The report notes that "Users of transportation information represent a diverse and decentralized community, including the states and federal agencies involved in transportation; more than 600 transit agencies; nearly 400 metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs); countless public works officials in thousands of cities, towns, and counties, supported by private contractors and consultants; universities; and private transportation companies and professional associations. Not only do these groups need transportation information, but they also are frequently the primary sources of reports, research, and technical information that are not always widely shared." The study nearing completion under NCHRP Project 20-75 is developing a business plan for implementing the administrative structure recommended in the special report, developing outreach materials and engaging key personnel in supporting the study recommendations. A related project continues efforts to move forward with Transportation Knowledge Networks (TKNs) by identifying potential TKN participants and describing the collections of the libraries and information centers associated with the decentralized community described above.

The objective of this project is to develop a directory of U.S. transportation librarians, libraries and information centers that could participate in any of a number of ways in TKNs and take responsibility for collecting and providing access to the reports, research, and technical information of their own organizations. The directory will include libraries and information centers at agencies of the U.S. DOT; state transportation agencies; MPOs; transit agencies; local and regional planning & public works agencies; professional associations related to transportation; and universities that house university transportation centers or significant collections of transportation engineering publications, data, or other transportation-related materials. While the directory will focus on domestic information centers, it will include references to major international transportation information sources, including those with relationships with U.S. providers such as TRB or through service providers such as Transport or Dialog. The directory will be provided in an electronic format to enable web publishing by TRB and/or the National Transportation Library (NTL), and to support queries and reporting. CTS is a subcontractor to Spy Pond Partners in carrying out these projects.

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