The Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP), a collaboration between Purdue and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), has been partnering with the Purdue Libraries and University Press to digitize and upload their technical reports in Purdue’s institutional repository, e-Pubs. They just recently finished uploading the last of over 1500 reports, which date back to the 1950’s and span a wide range of topics, from guidelines for pavement preservation to discussions of the treatment of wastewater at highway rest areas to models predicting recreational travel to reservoirs.
Formerly only available in print, the JTRP technical reports now enjoy increased availability and dissemination – garnering over 410,000 downloads, 150,000 of which have occurred in the last year. And the visitors are not just from the state of Indiana—they come from all 50 states as well as overseas, indicating that JTRP is fulfilling its goal of providing increased access to state-funded research with an aim to decrease investment in duplicative research both nationally and globally. In recognition of this success, Professor Darcy Bullock, Director of JTRP, was recently awarded the 2012 faculty award for Leadership in Open Access.
However, the partnership does not end there: the Purdue Libraries additionally lent their expertise to apply more formal publication practices to the reports moving forward. They have been providing such services as enhancing bibliographic metadata and adding DOIs, as well as helping to develop workflows for publishing future technical reports directly to the repository using the peer-review tools available in e-Pubs. According to Charles Watkinson, Director of Purdue University Press, “The JTRP reports exemplify the fact that many campuses produce grey literature that is not journal articles or monographs, and if libraries treat their repositories as publishing platforms there are many opportunities to make these more discoverable and less grey.”
For more information on the project, see “Engaging New Partners in Transportation Research: Integrating Publishing, Archiving, and Indexing of Technical Literature into the Research Process” or JTRP’s homepage.
Update 5/2/13: David Scherer, the Scholarly Repository Specialist at Purdue, gave a webinar about the JTRP. You can find the webinar at http://digitalcommons.bepress.com/webinars/40/.