picture Acquiring Highway Transportation Information from Abroad: Handbook
FHWA International Technology Scanning Program

Publication No. FHWA-PL-95-011 (B)
November 1994

Prepared by the scanning team

Nelda E. Bravo, FHWA
John R. Caruolo, Caruolo Associates. Inc.
Lawrence E. Decina, KETRON Division of the Bionetics Corporation
Jeanne F. Thomas Michigan DOT

and the

KETRON Division of the Bionetics Corporation
Malvern. PA 19355-1370

and the

Northwestern University Transportation Library
Evanston. IL 60208-2300

Prepared for

Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation
Washington, DC 20590

Table of Contents


This handbook was developed out of a project that investigated ways to improve the foreign information services available to the United States highway transportation community.

Besides thanking many individuals and organizations for their time and effort, the authors would like to express their appreciation to the scanning team members.

Thanks also go to the technical committee members, including: Ms. Amy Steiner (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials), Dr. Amir Hanna (Transportation Research Board), Ms. Sandy Tucker (Texas Transportation Institute), and Mr. John Chisholm and Mr. Kent Starwalt (American Road and Transportation Builders Association).

The authors would also like to express appreciation to the governments of and private organizations in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan for cooperating in this investigation.


The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Department of Transportation.

The United States Government does not endorse the products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear herein only because they are considered essential to the objective of this document.

This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.


In the fields of highway and transportation engineering and research, the ability to identify and acquire information and technical material and documents (e.g., journal articles, research reports, conference proceedings, standards, regulations, rules) on the domestic and especially the international side requires thorough knowledge of the reference sources and contacts available through transportation libraries, information centers, research and educational institutes, professional associations and societies, government agencies and institutions, private and non-profit organizations and consultants, engineering and construction firms, and public and private information databases.

In a recent American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) discussion paper on information management for research and development (1), the authors stated that transportation information available to the research and development community is fragmented, dispersed, and difficult to acquire. Because there is no unified information system bringing together all the sources of research information, it is very difficult for the highway transportation researchers to keep track of existing and ongoing research efforts. Many researchers and engineers are unaware of the libraries, networks, organizations, and document suppliers where information can be identified and acquired.

A recent survey (2) of FHWA and professional engineering and transportation organization representatives found that there is a general lack of awareness on certain reference sources (especially online databases) and document suppliers, by the US highway transportation community.

With these facts in mind, it became apparent for the need of a reference handbook to provide guidance for highway engineers and researchers on sources for identifying and acquiring information. The reference handbook will not replace the need to use libraries and information specialists who are employed by institutions and transportation libraries, who are knowledgeable in determining the appropriate subject databases, serials, directories, professional organizations, regulations and standards or patent offices, and other primary and secondary sources to help highway engineers or researchers in meeting their information needs.

This handbook provides reference sources for the following:

| Table of Contents | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 |
| Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | References |