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Transportation Librarians Roundtable
Using the Transportation Research Thesaurus

Slide 1
Using the Transportation Research Thesaurus

  • Transportation Librarians Roundtable
  • February 14, 2008
  • Rita Evans and Seyem Petrites
  • Institute of Transportation Studies Library
  • University of California, Berkeley

Slide 2
How ITS Library Uses the TRT

  • Supplement LC Subject Headings
  • Initiate searches in TRIS Online and TRB databases
  • Index journal articles, reports and TRB Annual Meeting papers for TRIS

TRT used in a variety of ways – today we’ll look at several including using the TRT to
- augment LC Subject Headings
- begin searches in TRIS Online and other databases
- index articles, reports and conference papers for TRIS

Slide 3
TRT from TRB’s Homepage…

Screen shot of TRB's version of TRT

How do you access the TRT? TRB and NTL make it very easy, with links from both organization’s homepages.
On TRB’s homepage, you’ll find the link under the “Resources and Databases” dropdown menu.

Slide 4
…or from NTL’s Homepage

Screen shot of NTL's version of TRT

From NTL’s homepage, you’ll see the TRT listed on the right side of the page under “Quick Links.”

Slide 5
TRT to supplement LC headings

  • LC lags in adopting terminology
  • TRT reflects actual usage
  • TRT contain more specific terminology

Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems used by US DOT in late 1980s – LC heading
Intelligent transportation systems used by practitioners, researchers, etc
Bridge decks rather than Bridges – Floors
Roundabouts are a specific type of traffic circle

Slide 6
LC Subject Headings may be outdated

Screen shot of an LC Subject Heading

I’m cataloging a report on several technologies being used for intelligent transportation systems.

Using the Library of Congress’s Classification Web, I enter “intelligent transportation systems” to view appropriate LC Subject Headings.

This is the display returned by LC – it says to use “Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems” for “intelligent transportation systems”

Slide 7
Put LCSH into TRT to find term

Screen shot of TRT search for LCSH subject heading

I know that IVHS hasn’t been used much in the past 10 years, so I decide to check that subject heading in the TRT.
TRT tells me to use “intelligent transportation systems”

Slide 8
Catalog record can include both LCSH and TRT

Screen shot of catalog record that includes both LCSH and TRT subject terms

So which one should I use?
In this case, I’ll use both of them, and here they are in the catalog record display.

Slide 9
More specific terms

Screen shot of detailed TRT display

Now I’m cataloging a report on roundabouts. I put the word “roundabouts” into LC Classification Web to see if it’s an LC Subject Headings. It is not, and I’m told to use “Traffic circles.”

The LC Subject Heading “Traffic circles” is accurate, but is there a more specific term to capture this type of traffic circle?

Using the TRT, I see from the hierarchical display that the more specific “roundabouts” is a TRT term, so I’m going to add it to the catalog record.

Slide 10
Structured LC headings and TRT term

Another screen shot of catalog record that includes both LCSH and TRT subject terms

In some cases, LC’s practice of structuring subject headings yields odd results. Structural engineers don’t talk about the floors of bridges, they refer to them as “bridge decks.” In this case, I just put “decks” into the TRT and “bridge decks” was one of the terms it returned.

Slide 11
MARC record showing TRT term

Screen shot of MARC record that includes both LCSH and TRT subject terms

In the MARC record, the TRT term is assigned a 650 7 code, with the “7” indicating that the subject heading is from an LC-approved thesaurus. To summarize, you can use the TRT to generate subject headings to supplement LC headings when cataloging by finding alternative terms or more specific terms.

Slide 12
Using the TRT to search

  • From NTL’s website, search TRIS Online
  • From TRB’s website, search RiP, RNS or TRB Publications Index

Now we’re going to use the TRT as a starting point for searching NTL and TRB resources. We’ll first demonstrate how to search TRIS Online starting with the TRT on NTL’s site. Then we’ll look at starting a search from TRB’s site.

Slide 13
Looking for highway construction

Screen shot of NTL's TRT

NTL displays the top terms on the left side of the page and includes tips for navigating the thesaurus and searching.
A search box allows you to input terms.
I’m not sure what term TRIS Online uses, so I’m going to try the TRT first. I’ve entered “highway construction” in the search box.

Slide 14
Identifying TRT term

Screen shot of TRT search results

TRT doesn’t use “highway construction” (which has no link) -- it uses “road construction” which does have a link.
Click on “road construction.”

Slide 15
Hierarchical display – can lead to TRIS Online search

Screen shot of TRT display with link to TRISOnline

Clicking on “road construction” causes hierarchical view to display.
It also provides you the option of searching TRIS Online – use either the “Find documents having Road construction” link or the Search button directly above it.

Slide 16
Search results from TRIS Online

Screen shot of TRIS Online brief record display

Here are the TRIS Online search results, showing the first of more than 5000 records with the term “road construction.”

Slide 17
Using TRT from TRB’s website

Screen shot of TRB's TRT

We just accessed the TRT from NTL’s homepage and from there we did a search of TRIS Online.
Now let’s access the TRT from TRB’s homepage and then search the TRB Publications Index.
We’ll search for “homeland security”

Slide 18
Hierarchical view of TRT term

Screen shot of hierarchical view

The TRT term is “national security” not “homeland security”
We’ll click on “National security” link

Slide 19
Find TRB Publications using TRT term

Screen shot of TRT detailed display

This display has a lot of information – you can see the broader, narrower and related terms for “national security” as well as the lead-in term we started with, “Homeland security”
You’re also given the option to search for the TRT term in three TRB databases – we’ve clicked on the link for the TRB Publications Index (highlighted in red) and will search for “National security”

Slide 20
Results from TRB Publications search

Screen shot of search results for TRT term in TRB's publications index

Here are the search results from the TRB Publications Index showing the 19 records which were found.

Slide 21
TRT for TRIS indexing

  • Journal articles
  • TRB annual meeting papers

The ITS Library uses the TRT most often when indexing journal articles, technical reports and TRB annual meeting papers for TRIS. ITSL does this work under contract with TRB.

Slide 22
Indexing records for TRIS

Screen shot of TRB's data entry screen for TRT terms

ITS Library uses TRT most often for indexing journal articles, technical reports and TRB Annual Meeting papers.
To do this, we use the TRIS input system which is integrated with the TRT.
Some of you have probably heard Barbara Post from TRB saying that TRB is very interested in having organizations contribute records to TRIS. Here’s what part of the input screen looks like. It’s very easy to use since it’s integrated so well with both the TRT and the TRB look-up table which includes the TRT index terms as well as geographic and personal names. This article is about “dual mode vehicles” so I’ve entered the word “dual”
Search the TRT (button) or use the TRB look-up table (green plus sign). We’ll use the look-up table.

Slide 23
Look-up table showing term

Screen shot of TRT lookup table

“Dual mode vehicles” is a TRT term.

Slide 24
TRT showing term

Screen shot of TRT search results for term "dual"

Had I chosen to “Search TRT” instead of using the Look-up table, I’d get this display of the hierarchical view of “dual” in the TRT. I’ll use the “Add to record” button.

Slide 25
TRB meeting paper – completed indexing

Screen shot of TRT Indexing Example

This shows the indexing for a paper from the 2008 TRB Annual Meeting. The paper looked a service time variability for border crossings in Washington state.
Journal articles are generally assigned about 3-7 terms. TRB annual meeting papers generally provide more in-depth exploration of topics and therefore often require more index terms to fully capture concepts.

Slide 26
Using the TRT provides:

  • Structured view of transportation terms
  • Controlled vocabulary for indexing
  • A starting point for searching TRIS Online and TRB databases
  • More specific terminology used by practitioners

To summarize, the TRT provides a tool that the ITS Library uses for different applications:
We enhance LC subject headings and improve findability
We use it as a starting point to search TRIS Online and TRB databases
We use it when indexing articles, reports and technical papers for TRIS.