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National Transportation Knowledge Network (NTKN): Blog

Which Tool Should I Use for My Research, TRID or ROSA P?

by Bob Sweet on 2020-06-21T08:04:00-04:00 | Comments

Many transportation researchers are familiar with the Transportation Research Board’s TRID database and the National Transportation Library’s ROSA P digital repository. But they are very different tools, and there is sometimes confusion about what each offers.

TRID (Transport Research International Documentation) is an abstracting and indexing service that facilitates discovery of the literature of transportation. It also contains records detailing active, ongoing transportation research projects. TRID frequently provides links to full text on publishers’ websites, including open access publications.  Access to many documents will require an institutional subscription or purchase. In some cases, when an item does not exist in a digital form, the TRID record will direct you to a library network where you can determine whether the publication can be borrowed via interlibrary loan from your local library.

ROSA P is the National Transportation Library's Repository and Open Science Access Portal. It is a digital repository of transportation resources and a portal, which is the online interface that enables you to gain access to those resources. The National Transportation Library (NTL) has always been a digital-only library. Therefore, the electronic resources that they provide need a home, a repository. These resources are freely available to all. They are either in the public domain, or the copyright holder has give permission to NTL to provide the resource to the public free of charge.

Many of the digital files that can be accessed via ROSA P have a corresponding record in TRID. That means that if you discover a ROSA P item in TRID, you can click on the link in the TRID record and acquire the item. There are about 20,000 records in TRID that link to full-text files in ROSA P. The total number of records in ROSA P is just under 48,000. TRID, however, has 1.25 million records.

So, which tool should you use for your research? Both. If you are trying to discover literature on a given topic, TRID is probably the better bet, simply because of its size and breadth. If you already have a citation for a specific item, and you’re looking to acquire a digital copy, you can try either one. But if you don’t find it one, you’ll need to go to the other. USDOT public-access guidelines require that all documents produced as an outcome of research funded by USDOT be stored in ROSA P. So that’s the place to look for those items.

For a deeper dive into this topic, including information on the Research in Progress and USDOT Research Hub databases, see the 2019 webinar Four Databases with a Common Goal: Promoting Transportation Research.

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