Tuesday, April 14, 2009

TRIP as a recommendation engine

As we roll out the new changes to TRIP in a few months, one area we're keen to explore is targeting clinicians in a given clinical speciality. We'll be making a big deal about the My-TRIP feature and one aspect of this is allowing users to select which speciality they belong to.

Might it be helpful for a clinician to highlight articles they found useful and these can be seen by others in the same speciality? Technically, it's relatively straightforward to introduce such a system, but is it worthwhile? Would the benefit extend to articles over a certain age?

For instance, a cardiologist might search for an article, look through 5 or 6 and decide that 1 or 2 are great articles. They could then hit a 'noteworthy' button against the 1 or 2 articles and this could then be flagged up to other cardiologists. If there are 100 cardiologists sending through recommendations one could create a league table of most recommended for other cardiologists to view.

I can see the benefits but I'm not sure of the downside (assuming people don't take the recommendations too seriously).


Martin said...

I love this idea! It has works for many other topics and works in medicine as well (McMaster/BMJ PLUS, Faculty of 1000...).
Are you bold enough to allow comments or just ratings?

Jon Brassey said...

Hi Martin,

I've just been exchanging e-mails with our developer and can see an 'algorithm' that scores articles based on both the number of recommendations and the number of times an article has been viewed.

I hadn't really thought about allowing people to comment - but that could work and may well fit. Thanks for the suggestion, one to contemplate!

Best wishes


Mike said...

Love this idea. Also it would be good to (after asking permission) to "guest" some famous clinicians/scientists in "what are they reading" - almost a sharing facility. Obviously there should be a tweet functionality (?!). Another idea how about enabling groups of specialities to form their own reading groups? and hence then again have a closed community where ideas can be shared?

Jon Brassey said...

Hi Mike,

I'm very interested in a tweet style function in TRIP and have a fair few ideas in that area. For instance it'd be 'nice' if you're online and you could see that there were 5 other users with an interest in your own speciality. Why not send them a message?

However, we need to demonstrate that people will interact with TRIP - so we'll go relatively slowly. If we get some decent interaction we'll throw resources at it.

Thanks for the input.