Does it have a role in TRIP? Dean Giustini’s re-named blog serves up more food for thought. He highlights 5 main sources of medical information:

1) Medline – core
2) Big four (BMJ, JAMA, NEJM, Lancet) – inner core
3) High impact factor journals
4) Embase – alternative core
5) EBM material.

TRIP definately does 5 – that’s its main purpose. We also have created an automatic search of PubMed that covers 1, 2 and 3. I don’t think we can do much about 4.

However, the medline coverage is not ‘core’ to TRIP, it’s bolted on as a separate search. Can we integrate both systems? A few years back we had a separate category called ‘primary research’ where we incorporated 25(ish) journals, big 4, AMA, BMJPG journals and select others. The criticism we received related to potential publication bias. ‘Hooking up’ to PubMed allowed us to improve the coverage and save ourselves much time.

Is it time to consider re-integrating some primary research articles into the main search? I’m thinking of how it might work to incorporate the ‘inner core’ of medical journals. It would be relatively straightforward. However, it raises the main issue pre-occupying the current development workload at TRIP – weighting and the search algorithm. Where would a 2006 journal article appears relative to a 2003 Cochrane SR, a 2004 clinical guideline or a 2005 clinical question?

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