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Instructions for Authors Submitting for TRR Publication

First Submission  |  Revised Papers  |  Accepted Papers  | Author Responsibilities  |  Desk Reject Criteria
Reference Guidelines About  


For first submissions, please have ready:

  • A Cover Letter is optional. 

  • All coauthor names, affiliations, and email addresses

  • ORCiD numbers (optional, but encouraged)

  • Manuscript file (we suggest PDF for first submission)

    • Table and figures embedded in text, near where they are first referenced 

    • 8.5x11 page with normal margins

    • Title should not be in all-caps. The first letter of each word capitalized, except for conjunctions, prepositions, and articles

    • Times Roman font, 10 pt size or larger

    • Single spaced

    • Single column

    • Line numbers (Restart each page)

    • Page numbers

    • Abstract (250 words max)

    • Numbered references are preferred.

  • Any supplemental material/appendices should be included at the end of this file, after the References.

Cover Letters

Cover letters should be no more than one page in length and written in a business letter format that addresses the TRR Editorial Board member(s) who will eventually be assigned to your paper. You may use a cover letter to introduce yourself, briefly describe your paper, and provide any additional considerations you’d like the editorial board to be aware of during the review process. A cover letter is not intended to replicate the text of your abstract or paper. It is, however, your chance to address the prospective editor of your paper with whatever additional information you feel will be helpful to him/her as your paper is considered. Cover letters often contain the following types of information:

  • A one sentence summary of the findings.

  • A very brief explanation about why your research is new and how it advances previous research in the subject area.

  • Additional information or considerations that will aid the editor in handling your paper.

  • Relevant information regarding prior or concurrent submissions.

  • Any potential conflicts of interest or permission issues that need special consideration.

Sample Paper

LaTeX Template Information 

How to Upload a Revised Paper


To Submit a Revision for Re-Review, please have ready:

  • Response to Reviewers file: This should be a point by point response to all reviewer comments from the previous round of review.

  • Manuscript file (PDF): All changes in the manuscript should be either highlighted (yellow preferred) or the new text should be in red font.  Do not upload a Track Changes document.  Deleted text does not need to be shown.

  • Funding Information should be provided in the Acknowledgments.

  • To optimize your paper for search engine discoverability, please check your title. Titles with a single, declarative statement, without any additional punctuation such as colons, dashes, or question marks tend to work best.

    • For more information about how to promote the visibility of your work, please watch our VIDEO

  • Author Contribution Statement and Conflict of Interest statements should appear before the references.

    • Authors should indicate any conflicts of interest relating to their research.  This most often includes financial interests (i.e. did the author receive funding from an organization that will benefit from the work being presented in the paper; employment; consultancies, etc.), but can include any connection that might raise the question of bias in the research. If you do not have any conflicts to report, the statement “The author(s) do not have any conflicts of interest to declare” included at the end of the Author Contribution statement will suffice. Otherwise, each author should list out any conflicts and authors without any conflicts can be covered with the statement “The other authors do not have any conflicts of interest to declare.”

  • The Authorship Change Request Form is required if any authors were added or removed during the revision process. 

  • All guidelines from first submission still apply.

How to Upload an Accepted Manuscript


To submit final files for publication production, please make sure you have the following:

  • Word or LaTeX manuscript file.

    • The SAGE LaTeX template can be used for final production files. A guide to uploading LaTeXfiles in Editorial Manager is available – please refer to it for assistance in making sure your files appear as they should o Equations (including those inline and displayed) need to be in editable format (MathType, Word, or LaTeX)

  • Tables must be in editable format. Do not embed them as images within the document.

  • Figures must not be embedded in the manuscript file. For both grayscale and color figures, image resolution should be at least 300 dpi. Each figure must be uploaded as a separate file, with the figure number in the file name. Word files are not an acceptable format for figures.  

  • Ensure that all tables and figures called out in the paper are included. Tables should be in the manuscript file and figure files should be uploaded individually.

  • Figure legends should be included at the end of the paper, after the references.

  • A Response to Reviewers file must be uploaded. This can be the one from the previous round of review.

  • All guidelines from first submission still apply.

Author Responsibilities 


Manuscript Format: Include a title page with title, authors, affiliations, and word count. Place tables and figures within the text, near the text that discusses the item. Pages must have line numbers and should start again on each page. The abstract should describe the work and findings and be no more than 250 words.

Language and Readability: All papers must be submitted in English. It is the author’s responsibility to ensure that the nature and conclusions of the work are easily understood. Authors are encouraged to engage editorial services prior to the paper submission.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the use of information or concepts from another article, website, or report without clearly attributing the source. Plagiarismis not acceptable. Phrases, sentences, or sections taken from another document, even if written by the same author(s), must appear within quotation marks and the source must be credited.

Fragmented Publication: Breaking a single piece of work into many papers dilutes the information and makes it difficult for reviewers and readers to assess the advances that may have been made. Papers submitted for review should stand on their own; papers submitted as Part I, Part II, etc., will not be accepted forreview.

Authorship Disputes: The generally accepted rules for authorship credit are stated in the 2003 Annual Report of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) are as follows: “(1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; (2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and (3) final approval of version to be published. All three of these conditions should be met for authorship,(4) anyone credited as an author should have played a significant role in the research and in the writing of the paper (Albert & Wagner 2003).”

For any authorship changes between revisions, please use our Authorship Change Request Form

Commercial or Special Interests: Authors are responsible for ensuring that submitted papers do to advocate special interests and are a commercial nature. Papers that fall within this category will be removed from the peer review process. A paper also may be removed from peer review if it describes the properties of a product without disclosing its composition or manufacture.Generic names of products and equipment should be used unless the author considers the trade names or manufacturer’s names essential to the purpose of the paper.

Clearances and Copyrighted Material: Authors must secure necessary clearances and written permissionsfor presentation or publication from any contracting or supervisory agencies involved in the research orfrom holders of copyrights on material used in the paper.Authors must have concurrence fromcoauthors or coworkers before submitting papers for presentation or publication by TRB, and all contributions to the work must be properly acknowledged. If a paper accepted for publication contains previously copyrighted material, authors must obtain written permissionfrom the copyright holder(s). TRB will assume the authors have obtained this permission before submission of the manuscript forinclusion on the TRB Annual Meeting Online. TRB will retain unrestrictedrights to the materials.

The TRR follows the Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE) guidelines for policies on authorship disputes, complaints and appeals, conflicts of interest / competing interests, ethical oversight, and intellectual property. Post-Publication Discussions and Corrections Readers who wish to comment on work published in the TRR may write a Discussion, which is then sent to the author, who is given the opportunity to respond. For more information about SAGE’s correction policy, click here.

Criteria for Submission Withdrawal (Desk Reject)


To lessen the burden on reviewers and to avoid having authors revise papers unlikely to be published, we recommend papers with the following issues be declined:


  • Findings do not contribute to the current practice or literature

  • Findings that are purely descriptive in content

  • Repetition of well-established findings

  • Focus of study too narrow to be applied elsewhere

  • Writing that cannot be easily understood

  • Topics outside the scope of the Transportation Research Board

  • Inappropriate or offensive language

  • Endorsement or promotion of a commercial product

Reference Guidelines


  • The reference list should contain only references that are cited in the text, either numbered in the order in which they are first cited or, if using Harvard Style, alphabetical by author last name. Bibliographic lists will not be published. Papers that do not conform to a standard reference style may be rejected.

  • Do not denote text references with superscripts.

  • Do not include in the reference list personal communications or similar materialthat would not be available to readers. Instead, cite the unpublished work in the text and enclosethe author’s name along with the term“personal communication”in parentheses.

  • You may use the following content guidelines and samples in preparing reference lists:

    • TRR Journal Articles Note: Do not add “In” before the journal title; do not include the publisher or place of publication. Dewan, S. A., and R. E. Smith. Creating Asset Management Reports from a Local Agency Pavement Management System.Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2018. Volume: doi or page range.

    • TRB Presentation Papers: Ghiasi, A., J. Ma, F. Zhou, and X. Li. Speed Harmonization Algorithm using Connected Autonomous Vehicles. Presented at 96th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., 2017

      • Please check references citing papers presented at the Annual Meeting to see whether or not the paper was subsequently published in the Transportation Research Record (TRR). If the paper was published in the TRR, the reference should be changed to the corresponding TRR citation.

    • Other Journals: Dawley, C. B., B. L. Hogenwiede, and K. O. Anderson. Mitigation of Instability Rutting of Asphalt Concrete Pavements in Canada. Journal of Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists, 2018. 59: 481–508. Sansalone, M., J. M. Lin, and W. B. Streett. Determining the Depths of Surface-Opening Cracks Using Impact-Generated StressWaves and Time-of-Flight Techniques.  ACI Materials Journal, 2018. 95: 168–177.

    • TRB Publications: Morcous, G., K. Wang, P. C. Taylor, and S. P. Shah. NCHRP Report 819: Self-Consolidating Concrete for Cast-in-Place Bridge Components.Transportation ResearchBoard,Washington, D.C., 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.17226/23626. Book Newland, D. E. Random Vibrations:Spectral and Wavelet Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1998.

    • Chapter in a Book: Shunk, G.A. Urban Transportation Systems. In Transportation Planning Handbook (J. D. Edwards, Jr., ed.), Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1992, pp. 88–122. Government Report Von Quintus, H. L., andA. L. Simpson. Documentation of the Backcalculation of Layer Parameters for LTPP Test Sections.Publication FHWA-RD-01-113. FHWA, U.S. Department of Transportation, 2002.

    • Websites: References to websites should include corporate or personal authors, title of document, date of document (if available), web address (complete URL), and date accessed by the author. State and Local Policy Program. Value Pricing. Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. www.hhh.umn.edu/centers/slp/vp/vp_org.Accessed Feb. 5, 2008. Guide to Developing Performance-Related Specifications.FHWA-RD-98-155, FHWA- RD-98- 156, FHWA-RD-98-171,Vol. III, Appendix C. www.tfhrc.gov/pavement/pccp/pavespec.Accessed March 5, 2003.

    • Unpublished papers. References to unpublished papers presented at meetings should include name(s) of author(s); title of paper; and title, sponsor(s), location, and dates or year of meeting. Corbett, J. J. Toward Environmental Stewardship: Charting the Course for Marine Transportation. Presented at 83rd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., 2018.


  • All variables should be defined at first use, either in the text or where the equation is listed.

  • Fractions in displayed equations shoulbe stacked, in accordance with preferred mathematical practice.

  • If a displayed equation is numbered, use anArabic numeral in parentheses, placed flush right.

  • Carefully distinguish the following: - All capital and lowercase letters; - Capital O (“oh”), lowercase o (“oh”), and 0 (zero); - Lowercase l (“el”) and number 1 (one); - Letter X, Greek chi (χ), and multiplication sign ×; - Prime ´, apostrophe ’, and superscript one 1; and - English and Greek letters such as • B and beta (β), upper- or lowercase k and kappa (κ), • n and eta (η), v and nu (ν), • u and upsilon (υ), u and mu (μ), and • Upper- or lowercase p and rho (ρ), and w and lowercase omega (ω).


Do not use footnotes to the text. Incorporate the information into the text or delete the notes.


Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Symbols

Abbreviations, acronyms, and symbols must be fully defined at first use in both the abstract and the paper; the full term should be spelled out first, followed by the abbreviated term in parentheses. The following acronyms may be used without definition:

AASHO: American Association of State Highway Officials
AASHTO: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
ACRP: Airport Cooperative Research Program
APTA: American Public Transportation Association
ASCE: American Society of Civil Engineers
ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials (known by abbreviation only)
EPA: Environmental Protection Agency
FAA: Federal Aviation Administration
FHWA: Federal Highway Administration
FMCSA: Federal M:otor Carrier Safety Administration
FRA: Federal Railroad Administration
FTA: Federal Transit Administration
IEEE: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISO: International Organization for Standardization
ITE: Institute of Transportation Engineers
NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NCHRP: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
NHTSA: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
SAE: Society of Automotive Engineers
SHRP: Strategic Highway Research Program
SHRP: Second Strategic Highway Research Program
TCRP: Transit Cooperative Research Program
TRB: Transportation Research Board



Authors of papers that report results of research sponsored directly or indirectly by federal programs should indicate this sponsorship in an Acknowledgment section at the end of the text, above References. Do not use appendixes. Include pertinent material in the paper itself or, where necessary, include a note that background material—such as derivation of formulas, specifications, or survey forms—is available from the author or in another report, which should be cited in the reference list.

About Us 


The TRB peer review process is used both for papers submitted for presentation at TRB’s Annual Meeting and for papers submitted for publication reviewin the Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. The peer review process is organized by TRB’s standing technical committees under the supervision of TRB staff. A minimum of three reviews are required for a publication recommendation. The process also allowsfor scholarly discussion of any paper scheduled for publication, along with an author-prepared closure.

The Transportation Research Record (TRR) is owned by the National Academy of Sciences and published by SAGE Publications. Each annual volume contains 12 monthly issues, which are available via subscription or TRB Sponsorship. The TRR publishes original, timely research on all areas and modes of transportation. Peer review is single blind and strives to elevate papers to their highest potential.

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president.

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the NationalAcademy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.

The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. TheAcademies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org.

The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation ResearchBoard is to increase the benefits that transportation contributes to society by providing leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. TheBoard’s varied committees, task forces, and panels annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners fromthe public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The programis supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation.

Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.