Upon accepting funding from the NCIT, all Principal Investigators (PIs) must commit to delivering a final project outcome that aligns with the established project scope and deliverables. This outcome should encapsulate the research findings, educational activities/products or technology transfer activities. Additionally, PIs are obligated to make the data utilized for the final deliverable publicly accessible in accordance with the guidelines specified in the USDOT Public Access Plan. Further details and guidance on data management and archiving can be found here.
For most research projects, the ultimate deliverable will take the form of a comprehensive report or an equivalent product. The final report is expected to comprehensively document the entire research process, encompassing a thorough description of the problem, objectives, approach, methodology, findings, conclusions, recommendations, and more. It should also provide a detailed account of all collected data, analyses conducted, and results obtained.
When generating the report, it is essential to use the NCIT report template, accessible through the provided button. This template serves as a guide for content, formatting, and style, incorporating specifications for cover pages, data archiving documentation, and other crucial details. The inclusion of visuals such as photographs, graphs, and charts is strongly encouraged to enhance the overall quality of the reports and associated deliverables.
A preliminary version of the final report must be submitted to NCIT Deputy Director, Melissa Tooley, for review and feedback at least 30 days prior to the official project end date. The subsequent processing of the draft report involves several steps:
1. Peer Review: NCIT staff will distribute the draft report to up to three external peer reviewers, who may be academics for research reports or policymakers/practitioners for white papers.
2. Copy-Editing: A copyeditor will review the report for adherence to standard formatting requirements and make edits for clarity, consistency, and accuracy. Copy-editing may occur immediately following peer review if feedback is minimal, or after the PI addresses extensive peer reviewer feedback.
3. Revisions by PI: PIs are expected to submit the finalized report within 30 days of receiving the copy-edited version.
4. Final Formatting by NCIT Staff: The NCIT staff will conduct a final polish of the report before publication. This includes assigning a DOI and other metadata to the report.
5. Publication of report: Upon completion of these steps, the report will be published, and NCIT staff will support dissemination and promotion through online platforms.
6. Dissemination and marketing: Additionally, the NCIT Communications Director is available to assist with outreach methods and activities tailored to the specific project. The publication URL will be submitted to the TRB TRID database and the USDOT’s online National Transportation Library.