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Section 4: State and Federal Regulations

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides program-level oversight of TxDOT’s federally funded research program. Funding for the research program is derived from both federal and state resources as discussed in Section 5 below. FHWA employees also serve on several of TxDOT’s research project teams, providing federal oversight and technical expertise.

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Publications

Products such as guidebooks, manuals, and similar items are developed within projects. Often developed as printed documents and published in non-traditional formats, guidebooks and manuals may be printed on heavy stock or waterproof material or in a size smaller than 8.5 inches by 11 inches, to facilitate use in the field. Guidebooks and manuals may be published electronically as a PDF document that includes active hyperlinks to resources on the Internet.

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  • Approved deliverables that TxDOT elects not to publish — The University may not publish at its own expense.
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  • Disapproved deliverables —The University can
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  • Deliverables containing classified or sensitive information — The University shall comply with any written request from TxDOT to restrict access and distribution of any deliverable containing information that TxDOT determines to be classified or sensitive. Any disagreement on the part of the University will be submitted to RTI in writing.
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Records and Archiving

Records are at the core of TxDOT business process, and the information they contain is a valuable and important asset to the agency. Good records management facilitates the efficiency and effectiveness of a business process. Records management focuses on the life-cycle of records – how records are created, maintained, stored, accessed, used and eventually disposed.

TxDOT’s records management program is mandated by the Texas Government Code, §441.183 et. seq., and has evolved since the 1970s to:

RTI’s retention policy including contract, proposal, correspondence, accounting information, progress reports and latest version of reports are to be retained from completion of contract (according to terms - Texas Government Code, §441.1855) plus 7 years. This policy is active for any project that has been executed, amended, or renewed after September 1, 2015.

For any document, including contract, proposal, correspondence, accounting information, progress reports and latest version of reports executed, amended, or renewed before August 31, 2015, is to be retained until completion of project plus 4 years.

A State record whose retention period has expired may not be destroyed if any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit, public information request, administrative review or other action involving the record is initiated. Such record destruction shall not occur until the completion of the action and the resolution of all issues.

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Patents and Copyrights

The same standards for use of copyrighted material, and ownership of copyrights apply to products and to technical reports, when the product is one to which these standards can be logically applied.

General — No copyrighted material, except that which falls under the “fair use” clause, may be incorporated into a report without permission from the copyright owner, if the copyright owner requires such. Prior use of the material in a TxDOT or governmental publication does not necessarily constitute permission to use it in a later publication.

As applicable, copyrighted material used in a report shall be accompanied by a statement as follows:

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  • Courtesy — acknowledgment or credit will be given by footnote, bibliographic reference, or a statement in the text for use of material contributed or assistance provided, even when a copyright notice is not applicable.
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  • Caveat for Unpublished Work — some material may be protected under common law or equity even though no copyright notice is displayed on the material. Credit will be given and permission will be obtained as appropriate.
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  • Proprietary Information — to avoid restrictions on the availability of reports, proprietary information will not be included in reports, unless it is critical to the understanding of a report and prior approval is received from RTI. Reports containing such proprietary information will contain a statement on the Technical Report Documentation Page restricting availability of the report.
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