Search Help


The information on the RNS website is stored in a database of research needs statements. Each database record is divided into fields, or categories, of information, such as title, sponsoring committee, and subject category. When you use the search form, you can specify which field(s) to search and which word(s) to look for within the field(s). Use any combination of field critera below to better narrow the search results.

Search Techniques
Use the below search techniques within the "Keywords (multiple fields)", "Title," or "Index Terms" fields to refine your results.

Quoted Phrases
Adjacent words are NOT assumed to be a phrase. Quotes must be used to identify a search phrase. The search term "traffic signal timing" retrieves only records where the three words appear together and in that order.

Search terms are not case sensitive. CHICAGO, Chicago, and chicago all retrieve the same records.

Truncation/Wild Card
Type an asterisk (*) after a partial word to retrieve all variances. Driv* finds drive, driver, and driving.

OR Operator
To broaden your search, use the or operator. In the Keyword field, for example, enter emission* or air quality to find either term.

AND Operator
To focus or narrow your search, use the and operator. Searching the Abstract field for asphalt and laboratory, for example, requires that both terms be present.

AND NOT Operator
To exclude a term from your search, use the and not operator. Searching the Keywords field for rail and not transit, for example, requires that transit not be present.

Field Descriptions

Search Field
Enter keywords using the rules above in the text field. The 'Keywords' field will search the Title, Description, and Index Terms. If only searching by statement title or index terms, select the respective field from the dropdown.

Sponsoring Committee
To find an exact match, enter the first part of a committee name and click "Lookup." If multiple committees are desired or the exact name is not known, then enter one or more words then just click "Submit Query." The search will match records containing the search phrase within the organization name or address.

Subject Category
If desired, you may narrow your search by selecting from among the specific TRB subject categories.

Date Range
Select a date type from the listed options:

  • Date Added - Date the statement was added to the database
  • Date Modified - Date the statements was last updated in the database
Then enter the desired lower and upper bound years in four-digit format.

Sort Order
This option uses the "Sort By" field and specifies whether the results will be in ascending or descending order.