The transportation industry relies on and consumes vast amounts of information. Most people working in their respective roles on a day-to-day basis have their favorite go-to reference materials. But how do you find information that is outside of the normal scope of your work? Perhaps you are looking for research that has been done on a particular issue that you're dealing with, or simply want to have a better understanding of industry standards. Where do you turn? How do you know whether the information you are accessing is credible and relevant? This guide has been created to point the transportation practitioner to sources of information - some free, some available through subscription - as well as tips to search efficiently and successfully.
The ODOT Library can serve as a resource for both state and local agency employees, providing materials and information. The platform for this guide is provided through the National Transportation Library and the Western Transportation Knowledge Network. Some of the information presented here is in the form of guides created by other transportation librarians and library groups, used with their permission. If you have resources or information that you would like to see added to this guide, please send your suggestions to the ODOT Library.
SEARCH ENGINE: Web sites or software that search the Internet for key words, subjects or phrases specified by the requestor. Search engines use algorithms to create a list of search results,and each functions somewhat differently. Examples include Google, Dogpile, Bing, Duck Duck Go, Ask, and Yahoo! Search.
DATABASE: A collection of organized information that can be searched, accessed and edited. A bibliographic database contains records of published materials, which could include include journals, newspapers, books and documents. Records will contain information about the publications, but do not necessarily provide full access to them; in fact, many journal publishers create databases based on subscriptions. An online library catalog can also be considered a bibliographic database. Examples include ODOT Library Catalog, TRID, ScienceDirect, and ASCE Library.
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