Building the Transportation KM Research Portfolio

The research portfolio for transportation knowledge management (KM) activities can include a variety of activities and publications.  The following list summarizes common activities used in transportation sector that we may want to include as we develop our research portfolio.

Study Types

  • Applied research: The application of existing scientific knowledge to practical applications. Addresses a specific question that has direct application.  (source: parsed from multiple sources)
  • Basic research: systematic study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications towards processes or products in mind. It includes all scientific study and experimentation directed toward increasing fundamental knowledge and understanding in those fields of the physical, engineering, environmental, and life sciences related to long-term national security needs. It is farsighted high payoff research that provides the basis for technological progress. (source: 32 CFR 272.3)
  • Case Study: An intensive analysis of an individual unit (such as a person or community) stressing developmental factors in relation to environment (source: Merriam-Webster)
  • Peer exchange: Forums to exchange of information or best practices. (source: parsed from multiple sources)
  • Scan (international and domestic): Activities that information sharing, and technology exchange on innovative and emergent technologies and practices among the high performing organizations and early adopters to evaluate opportunities and identify actionable items of common interest.
  • Survey: a: to examine as to condition, situation, or value: appraise. b: to query (someone) in order to collect data for the analysis of some aspect of a group or area. (source: Merriam-Webster)
  • Synthesis: Searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. (source: TRB Synthesis Program Overview)


  • Transportation Research Circulars: The TRB Transportation Research Circulars are committee reports, including interim research findings and research problem statements, considered to be of immediate interest but not necessarily of permanent reference value.  (TRB Research Circulars website)
  • State of the Art Report: TRB’s State of the Art Reports are substantive topical reports that explore the current status of an issues.  They generally are made up of individually attributed papers and discussions. (source: TRB State of the Art Reports website)
  • Workshops: Workshops provide a brief intensive educational program for a relatively small group of people that focuses especially on techniques and skills in a particular field (source: Merriam-Webster)
  • Research Pays Off: The Research Pays Off series highlights research results that provide innovative, cost-effective solutions to important transportation-related problems source: (source: TRB Research Pays Off website)
  • Other Committee Reports: include jointly produced material, brochures, individual articles produced for a TRB publication, program updates, catalogs, and more.   (Source: TRB Miscellaneous Publications website)