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Community Discussion of the Draft NTKN Strategic Implementation Goals and Objectives

Kay Geary (MTKN), Kendra Levine (WTKN), Jane Minotti (ETKN), Leni Oman (AASHTO TKN TF), and Amanda J. Wilson (NTL)
December 09, 2010

Slide 2: Document Sections

  • What We Are
  •  What We Do
  • Value Proposition
  •  Who We Are
  •  Partners
  •  What to Expect Next

Slide 3: Suggested Feedback Topics

  • What needs more clarification?
  •  Do you see your organization or role fitting into this broad vision? If so, is it the right fit?
  •  What is missing?
  •  What graphics or other visuals would you add to help tell the NTKN story?
  •  Would this document help you define and sell the TKN story? If not, what needs to be added to make this document useful?

Slide 4:  Background

  • What this document is:
    – an integration of concepts, activities, proposals, and existing practices related to the TKN effort
    – a concise, overarching, inclusive vision for the NTKN effort
    – starting point for recruitment to the TKN effort by providing an overview of the NTKN
  •  What this document is not:
    – a finalized version
    – a compilation of every TKN-related activity or proposal
    – intended to serve as the only documentation about the TKN effort
    – an operational (e.g., bylaws) document

Document is intended to be the vision of a national policy study conducted by the Transportation Research Board
(Special Report 284), a business plan developed through a National Cooperative Highway Research Program
project (NCHRP Report 643), and the work of the Regional TKNs and the AASHTO RAC TKN Task Force.

Slide 5:  What We Are

The National Transportation Knowledge Network (NTKN) is an association of transportation organizations collaborating to improve information access, exchange, use, and preservation for their employees, partners, and stakeholders and the broader transportation community.

Transportation organizations include federal, state, academic, non-profit, and for-profit agencies and are organized into regional or topical transportation knowledge networks (TKNs). The scope of “information” includes text reports, manuals, plans, etc.; business/operational data and records; bibliographic information; images; multimedia; databases; and datasets in print and digital formats.

Slide 6:  What We Are:


  • regional TKNs
  • non-transportation information management groups/organizations (e.g., semantic web groups or distributed digital preservation networks)
  • library and information science community
  • topical TKNs (e.g., COPs with supporting information networks)
  • transportation infomation producers
  • transportation knowledge management community

Slide 7:  What We Do

  • Mission
    The NTKN supports and sustains a network of transportation information providers collaborating to improve
    information access, exchange, use, and preservation so that they can provide transportation professionals with timely
    and convenient access to relevant information that enables faster progress toward meeting critical transportation
  •  Goals
    – Improve information access for transportation professionals
    – Increase collaboration among transportation information producers and providers
    – Preserve transportation information resources
    – Build capacity to create, share, and exchange information
  •  Function
    – (a) coordination and support of regional and topical TKNs;
    – (b) identification and analysis of information needs of transportation professionals;
    – (c) identification and response to cross-cutting issues;
    – (d) development or support of development of innovative information resources and tools;
    – (e) education about and marketing of the TKN effort to the transportation community;
    – (f) communication and promulgation of TKN activities throughout the organization and beyond;
    – (g) study and analysis of best practices in methods of collecting, storing, organizing and disseminating transportation information;
    – (h) assessment and evaluation of TKN efforts; and
    – (i) collaboration with national, international, and interdisciplinary bodies with interests in common with those of the NTKN and in  support of all of the above.

Slide 8:  Value Proposition


The benefits of a successful, active NTKN are tangible and critical in an environment of shrinking
budgets. Effective information management—the access, exchange, use, and preservation of
information—at a coordinated national level has benefits for the following:

  •  Transportation Organizations:
    – Increases productivity of knowledge workers by reducing time spent searching, accessing, and compiling high quality information;
    – Saves money due to reduced time and purchasing of institutional, local, regional, and national data for decision-making;
    – Maximizes investments in research development and implementation by avoiding redundant research and facilitating technology transfer; and
    – Preserves institutional knowledge.
  •  Overall Transportation System:
    – Improves performance;
    – Reduces the amount of lost knowledge;
    – Establishes and promulgating common information standards and tools;
    – Fosters collaboration; and
    – Accelerates innovation by reaching across silos.

Slide 9:  Who We Are


This model of consortium membership assumes organizations are members (with primary and alternate representatives at meetings), but any employee may participate on projects of the TKNs. The focus is on enabling all who are interested in an organization to participate in information resource sharing and access projects and initiatives. It should also encourage organizations to join regional or topical TKNs to  have the most influence in NTKN activities. Key Partner organizations will provide the perspective of their stakeholder community in NTKN efforts.

  • Coordinating Organization: The National Transportation Library (NTL) of the US Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) is leading the community-built vision for a NTKN. As the coordinating body, NTL supports execution of TKN activities through members of the distributed network.
  • Membership Types: There are four (4) membership types in the NTKN
    – Regional TKN-affiliated members;
    – Topical TKN-affiliated members;
    – NTKN Key Partner organizations;
    – Non-TKN affiliated organizations with an interest in transportation information management not part of (c);
    – Persons whose work within NTKN’s field of interest merits special recognition.

Slide 10:  Who We Are


NTKN seeks and works with a number of partners in pursuit of its strategic goals. Partners exist in the library and information science, data, knowledge management, records management, and broader transportation communities. The Key Partners listed below are those currently involved in the development of the NTKN.

Key Partners include the following:

  • US Department of Transportation
    – National Transportation Library, Research and Innovative Technology Administration
    – Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center, Federal Highway Administration
  • American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
    – Research Advisory Committee (RAC)/RAC TKN Task Force
  • Regional TKNs and their member organizations
    – Midwest TKN
    – Western TKN
    – Eastern TKN
  • Transportation Research Board
    – Library and Information Science for Transportation Committee
    – Data Section and Metadata Joint Subcommittee
  • Special Libraries Association Transportation Division
  • Council of University Transportation Centers
  • Transportation Library Connectivity Pooled Fund Study

Slide 11:  What to Expect Next


  • Secure and develop a web home for the NTKN
  • Create and disseminate educational and information products on the NTKN
  • Continue outreach efforts to groups identified (such as knowledge management, IT, and other information sharing groups) at the national level and through regional TKNs and key partners


  •  Identify strategic activities and projects (i.e., the “low-hanging fruit”) to show the value of NTKNs
  • Identify mid- and long-term goals for the NTKN for the NTKN to make implementation happens
  •  Develop and refine operational documents for a NTKN (e.g., voting, by-laws, principles, etc.)


  • Develop tiered cost models for implementing the NTKN at a low-cost, mid-cost, and fullyfunded levels
  • Continue to seek resources for the development of the NTKN

Slide 12:  Suggested Feedback Topics

  • What needs more clarification?
  •  Do you see your organization or role fitting into this broad vision? If so, is it the right fit?
  •  What is missing?
  •  What graphics or other visuals would you add to help tell the NTKN story?
  •  Would this document help you define and sell the TKN story? If not, what needs to be added to make this document useful?

Slide 13:  Thank You for Your Input!