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The Evolution of the Joint Transportation Research Program

The Evolution of the Joint Transportation Research Program

October 22nd, 2019

Oct. 21-27, 2019, is International Open Access Week. This is part of a series — written by Purdue faculty — that demonstrates the benefits of open access scholarly publishing. For the entire series, visit

by Darcy Bullock, Lyles Family Professor of Civil Engineering and Director, Joint Transportation Research Program

The Purdue e-Pubs open access model for publishing Joint Transportation Research Program (JTPR) reports and conference proceedings is widely regarded as a best practice for rapid, cost-effective dissemination to transportation agencies, practicing professionals, and academia. Including JTRP reports, specialty series, and conferences, this open access material has received more than 2.3 million downloads from individuals in 29,000+ institutions, representing 230 countries.

 Darcy M Bullock Lyles Family Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Joint Transportation Research Program
Darcy M. Bullock, Lyles Family Professor of Civil Engineering; Director, the Joint Transportation Research Program

Our partnership with Purdue University Press enables JTRP research to have global impact through the e-Pubs online publishing system. JTRP reports provide a treasure trove of invaluable information for transportation professionals and academia, but were previously buried in the basement of the engineering library [now the Library of Engineering and Science]. To promote knowledge sharing and increase impact, JTRP partnered with Purdue Press in 2011 to modernize report publishing and digitize previous reports.

As an example, when Purdue Civil Engineering Emeritus Professor Sidney Diamond published his report on “Methods of Soil Stabilization for Erosion Control” in 1975, he expected it to be read by state engineers to assist them with improving Indiana’s transportation infrastructure. Today, however, his report has been downloaded 1,883 times, with readers just as likely to be in India, Brazil, and China as in Monticello or Frankfort, Indiana.

Thanks to Purdue e-Pubs, Diamond’s research is helping practitioners worldwide to cheaply and safely reinforce dirt roadways made unstable by heavy rainfall. More recently, Professor Rodrigo Salgado published a technical report entitled “Dynamic Cone Penetration Test (DCPT) for Subgrade Assessment” in 2003 that has been downloaded more than110,000 times.

These examples show how making JTRP research openly and freely accessible online increases the value of the state’s investment in transportation research, while providing worldwide impact.

In addition to technical reports, JTRP publishes a variety of conference proceedings on e-Pubs. One example is the Purdue Road School Transportation Conference and Expo, produced in collaboration with the Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program, which attracts more than 3,000 attendees annually.

Approximately 4,000 Road School presentations and proceedings have been posted on e-Pubs. These publications have been downloaded more than 447,000 times, extending the impact of Road School well beyond the conference attendees. Downloads for Purdue Road School have exceeded 131,000 in just the past year. We are particularly pleased by the magnitude of these Road School downloads, as approximately 65% are from government agencies and private sector companies. This demonstrates the impact the scholarly work is having on government and private sector entities.

Information about other 2019 Open Access Week activities at Purdue is available at

Learn more about Purdue’s Open Access resources, including Purdue e-Pubs, Purdue’s open access digital repository, at