Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature

Bad news National Guideline Clearinghouse is coming to an end

The National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) is a wonderful guideline resource from the USA.  It summaries all American major guidelines (it has over 1,300 guidelines) and adds much value to these.  We link to the NGC records in Trip for ALL our USA guidelines.

Unfortunately, it’s funding is coming to an end and therefore Trip needs to do something to ensure we can still offer USA guidelines – hence the survey.  There are two identical versions of the poll:

  • Top one – if you’re a health professional
  • Bottom one – if you’re NOT a health professional

Please tick all that apply



Trip and reference management software

Trip allows you to export selected documents using a variety of methods (email, CSV and RIS). RIS is the standard format for referencing software (e.g. Reference Manager).

Alongside each result in Trip is a tick box.  Select the articles of interest and then press the ‘Export’ link (see below):

When you press ‘Export’ a drop-down appears:

For exporting to reference manager style software you select the ‘Export at .RIS’ option and press ‘Go’, the file is then downloaded and you can then import in to your reference management software.

Improving Trip – survey results

Just under a fortnight ago I asked for help planning the next set of upgrades to the site.  We received an incredible response with 1,436 ‘votes’.  The top ten results being:

  1. I wish I could save articles I like
  2. I’d like a simple mechanism to show if an article was good or bad (eg thumbs up and thumbs down)
  3. I’d like Trip to support me create a rapid review
  4. I’d like critical appraisal support
  5. I wish there was some statistics support
  6. I’d like an Amazon-style ‘People who looked at this article also looked at..
  7. I wish I could access Trip Pro
  8. I’d like to see comments from others about how they’ve found the article(s)
  9. I’d like to see other papers people have clicked on – popular papers!
  10. I would like to see more answers (as opposed to links to articles)

I’m incredibly grateful for the feedback. We also had lots of comments which will take further analysis and thank you to the many who left very kind words about Trip 🙂

My thoughts on each point are below:

  1. Way ahead of the others in terms of votes and this is the one that made me smile as we have the ability to save items already (see Saving your results with ‘Starring’)!  It made me smile as it shows us, yet again, not to make assumptions. The star system is used in a number of sites, such as Google, but is clearly not ubiquitous – so major fail by us.  Thankfully it should be an easy remedy!
  2. Great, I really like that people want to interact with the site!
  3. Already in planning
  4. More in-depth than 2 (thumbs up or down) and again great to see people want us to support them. This will require some thought!!
  5. As with 4, this will require some thought.
  6. We have the data, we just need to figure out how to create the interface.  In many ways it’s like SmartSearch, so hopefully it’ll be easy to implement.
  7. Sorry!
  8. Great, fits in with the interactions mentioned above (thumbs up/down, critical appraisal etc).
  9. Pro users can already sort articles by popularity – so we need to improve the interface.
  10. We’re working on automating that!

Improving Trip

We love Trip and we hope you do too.  We are constantly striving to make the site better to use; to make it easier for you to find the evidence to deliver trustworthy answers. To help Trip improve we’ve created two polls and we’d like you to tick ALL the items you struggle with and would like Trip to help.  The first poll relates to how you use Trip and the second is your use of the evidence once you’ve found it!

There are comments boxes as well – so please use them if you have any other suggestions!


Autosynthesis – update on progress

The autosynthesis project is an attempt to create automatic evidence reviews; automatically synthesising RCTs and systematic reviews.

We’re making great progress and the visualisations are stunning (see below). In fact the whole interface is amazing, allowing users to interact with the data (compared with the traditional, static, forest plot)!

NOTE: the underlying data is not accurate/calibrated but the point of sharing is purely to show how it’ll look.

Level One

This is the high level view – showing all the interventions for a given disease.  Each blob represents an individual intervention.  The horizontal axis represents likelihood of effectiveness and the vertical axis is a measure of bias for the evidence used.  Blob size is proportionate to the sample size – the bigger the blob the more trials/SRs.

Level Two

Click on a blob and it shows the constituent elements of the blob!  Different colours distinguish between RCTs and systematic reviews.  Again blob size is proportionate to sample size (for RCTs).

We’re hoping it’ll be available by February.

Trip and 2017 – improving care, globally, on a massive scale

As we enter a new year it’s tradition to look back at the previous year.  So, for 2017, so here we go:

  • 981,510 separate sessions (separate visits to the site)
  • 618,082 separate users
  • 3,573,702 page views
  • 5mins 5 seconds – average session duration
  • 4,989,342 minutes spent on the site over the year by all our users
  • 12.66% reduction in bounce rate (people who come to the site and only look at the page they land on)
  • Most popular country for visitors: USA (21.3%), UK (11.0%), Spain (6.8%), Australia (5.2%) and Canada (4.6%)

Those figures relate to people coming to the site but we allow third party sites to use our service via an API.  As such we get used a lot more.

Given that over 40% of our searches support improved patient care (see here and here) we can be sure we’ve had a massive impact on global healthcare.  Previously we’ve tried to quantify our impact so here goes for 2017:

  • If we assume 1.25 searches per session on the site = 1,226,887 searches
  • Assume we gain another 33% of searches via our API = 408,921
  • Total searches = 1,635,808

We estimate 40.8% of searches result in improved patient care which equals 667,410.

So, globally, Trip has improved care 667,410 times.

Updated coverage graphic

With the inclusion of DynaMed Plus to Trip I felt it was time to update the graphic that attempts to convey what users search when they use Trip.  It’s a tough ask and below is my attempt (slight update on a previous graphic).  Comments welcome!!


DynaMed Plus added to Trip = Trusted Answers

DynaMed Plus is one of the most sought after resources in EBM.  As such we’re absolutely delighted to announce that DynaMed Plus content has been added to Trip.  And, what’s even better, if you’re not a subscriber to DynaMed Plus you can get ten free ‘views’ per month.

As you’ll see from the above graphic, DynaMed Plus is – like Trip – focused on supporting rapid question answering.  So, having both Trip and DynaMed Plus should maximise your chances of obtaining trusted answers to your clinical questions.

Autosynthesis – timeline to release

We’ve just had a meeting with the technical team and as a result we’re updating the timeline to release.  The plan is as follows:

Phase 1 – integrate improvements to data used to generate the synthesis (sample size, PICO identification etc).  This should be finished by the end of December and will interact with the current ‘front end’.

Phase 2 – integrate the new design. End of January

Phase 3 – integrate features that allow people to edit/modify the results. End of February.

We’re not sure when the full release will be, but I suspect we’ll allow people to interact with the system sometime in early 2018.

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