TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH RECORD:
JOURNAL OF THE TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD
Peer Review Process
The Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transporta
tion Research Board publishes approximately 20% of the more
than 5,000 papers that are peer reviewed each year. The mission of
the Transportation Research Board (TRB) is to disseminate research
results to the transportation community. The Record series contains
applied and theoretical research results as well as papers on research
The TRB peer review process for the publication of papers allows
a minimum of 30 days for initial review and 60 days for rereview, if
needed, to en sure that only the highest-quality papers are published. A
minimum of three reviews are required for a publication recommen-
dation. The process also allows for scholarly discussion of any paper
scheduled for publication, along with an author-prepared closure.
The basic elements of the rigorous peer review of papers submit-
ted to TRB for publication are described below.
Paper Submittal: June 1–August 1
Papers may be submitted to TRB at any time. However, most
authors use the TRB web-based electronic submission process avail-
able between June 1 and August 1, for publication in the following
year’s Record series.
Initial Review: August 15–November 15
TRB staff assigns each paper by technical content to a committee
that administers the peer review. The committee chair assigns at
least three knowledgeable reviewers to each paper. The initial
re view is completed by mid-September.
By October 1, committee chairs make a preliminary recommenda-
tion, placing each paper in one of the following categories:
1. Publish as submitted or with minor revisions;
2. Reconsider for publication, pending author changes and re -
3. Reject for publication.
By late October, TRB communicates the results of the initial
review to the corresponding author. Corresponding authors com-
municate the information to coauthors.
• Authors in Category 1 (above) must submit their manuscripts
for TRB editorial production by November 15, in accordance with
the instructions for final manuscript submittal for publication.
These early-acceptance papers will be published online in the
electronic edition of the journal, months before their appearance in
a printed volume.
• Authors of papers in Category 2 (above) must submit a revised
version by November 15 addressing all re viewer comments, along
with an explanation of how the comments have been addressed.
Rereview: November 20–January 25
The committee chair sends the Category 2 revised papers to the ini-
tial reviewers for rereview. After rereview, the chair makes the final
recommendation on papers in Category 2. If the paper has been
revised to the committee’s satisfaction and ranks among the best
papers, the chair may recommend publication. The chair communi-
cates the re sults of the rereview to the authors.
Discussions and Closures: February 1–May 15
Discussions may be submitted for papers that will be published.
TRB policy is to publish the paper, the discussion, and the author’s
closure in the same Record.
Many papers considered for publication in the Transportation
Research Record are also considered for presentation at TRB meet-
ings. Individuals interested in submitting a discussion of any paper
presented at a TRB meeting must notify TRB no later than Febru-
ary 1. If the paper has been recommended for publication in the
Transportation Research Record, the discussion must be submitted
to TRB no later than April 15. A copy of this communication is sent
to the author and the committee chair.
The committee chair reviews the discussion for appropriateness
and asks the author to prepare a closure to be submitted to TRB by
May 15. The committee chair reviews the closure for appropriate-
ness. After the committee chair approves both discussion and clo-
sure, the paper, the discussion, and the closure are included for
publication together in the same Record.
Final Submittal of Revised Manuscripts: March 15
In early February, TRB requests a final manuscript for the Cat-
egory 2, revised papers that have been accepted for publication;
the final manuscripts must be submitted by March 15. TRB also
notifies authors whose papers were not accepted for publication.
TRB makes a concerted effort to publish all papers by December
31; some volumes, however, are released in January and February.
Paper Awards: April to January
The TRB Executive Committee has authorized annual awards
sponsored by Groups in the Technical Activities Division for out-
standing published papers:
• Charley V. Wootan Award (Policy and Organization Group);
• Pyke Johnson Award (Planning and Environment Group);
• K. B. Woods Award (Design and Construction Group);
• D. Grant Mickle Award (Operations and Preservation Group);
• John C. Vance Award (Legal Resources Group);
• Patricia F. Waller Award (Safety and System Users Group); and
• William W. Millar Award (Public Transportation Group).
Other Groups also may nominate published papers for any of the
awards above. In addition, each Group may present a Fred Burggraf
Award to authors 35 years of age or younger.
Peer reviewers are asked to identify papers worthy of award con-
sideration. Each Group reviews all papers nominated for awards
and makes a recommendation to TRB by September 1. TRB notifies
winners of the awards, which are presented at the following TRB
Transportation Research Board