Transportation research can be challenging for numerous reasons. Not least of which is the complex technical jargon regularly employed by practitioners-very often abbreviated-that can seem almost indecipherable to outsiders. Identifying the correct terms to even begin searching for information can be extremely challenging.
In addition, transportation is a multi-disciplinary field spanning engineering, construction and materials science, through management, human resources and planning (and many other disciplines in between). No one can be an expert in all these areas making searching that much more challenging.
To adequately mine the immense amount of information generated by the transportation industry it is essential to go beyond Google and familiarize yourself with sources that identify authoritative, indexed terms. Controlled vocabularies are often essential in defining exact meanings of terms.
Fortunately, numerous resources exist to help you do just that. Below is a list of some of the more important resources. It includes dictionaries, glossaries, thesauri and acronym guides that define terms or identify authoritative, indexed terms in a controlled vocabulary. It even includes our very own Nevada DOT Glossary of Acronyms. The list is by no means authoritative or complete. I'm just listing some of the resources I've found to be the most important and the most helpful to me. Those with a star are especially important and should not be overlooked.
Research is never easy, but at least, armed with some of these resources, you can better identify where to begin.
* AASHTO Transportation Glossary
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
NDOT Library call number: REFERENCE HE141 .T685 2009
(Available for purchase from the AASHTO Bookstore)
Dictionaries and Glossaries List
National Transportation Library
Glossary of Regional Transportation Systems Management and Operations Terms
Transportation Research Board (TRB)
Glossary of Transit Terminology
American Public Transit Association
Nevada Department of Transportation Glossary of Acronyms
Transportation Acronym Dictionary
City of Bloomington, Indiana
* Transportation Acronyms, Dictionaries, Glossaries, and Thesauri Guides
TRB Committee on Library and Information Science for Transportation (LIST)
Transportation Acronyms, Dictionaries, Glossaries, and Thesauri Guides - By Subject
LA Metro Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library
* Transportation Dictionary
US Department of Transportation
* Transportation Research Thesaurus
I am indebted to the LA Metro Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library's Transportation Dictionaries page, where much of the information for this post came from.