Improvement of Research Report Distribution and Access and Promotion of More Effective Use of Technical Report Documentation Page, USDOT Form 1700.7
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Improvement of Research Report Distribution and Access and Promotion of More Effective Use of Technical Report Documentation Page, USDOT Form 1700.7

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    This report covers two studies: (Part A) Improvement of research report distribution and access process improvement of State Planning and Research (SPR) funded reports; and (Part B) Promotion of more effective use of the Technical Report Documentation page (TRDP) (USDOT Form 1700.7). Research methodology for Part A involved: telephone survey to SPR report recipients on FHWA directive list concerning what they receive and their practices; an electronic survey to State DOT Libraries concerning their distribution and publishing practices; and the development of distribution instructions for State DOT librarians. Part B involved: literature review documenting origins of TRDP and similar documentation pages; a canvass of State DOT and transportation subject database librarians on current practices regarding the TRDP; and a random selection of published TRDPs from TRID and NTL to identify current TRDP practices. Results for Part A concluded that all State DOT libraries surveyed (n=21) distribute SPR reports to TRID and NTL. Most distribute to NTIS; but only half distribute to the remaining recipients on the FHWA directive letter. The majority of the State DOT Libraries surveyed have an alert system; catalog SPR-funded reports from their DOT; use group email distribution lists; and store SPR-funded reports on an internal server. About half of the libraries assign a permanent URL. Results for Part B identified that the 1972 TRDP and 1975 instructions are the current information available for completing the TRDP. The most populated fields on the TRDP are: title, author, abstract, keyword, report date and number, performing and sponsoring organization. There is inconsistency regarding the completion of all other fields. Recommendations for Part A: State DOT libraries should continue to distribute SPR-funded reports to TRID, NTL, and NTIS to maintain discovery and preservation of transportation research. State DOT libraries should maintain their current distribution and preservation practices, and make reports available to researchers and practitioners within three months of report completion and approval. Recommendations for Part B: A universal TRDP with an instruction sheet should be made available at a central and easily accessible location. This will improve consistency in completion of page. Updating the current 1975 instructions is recommended to clarify ambiguity in certain fields. Inclusion of URLs and use of Transportation Research Thesaurus are recommended with reservations
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