Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature


April 2006

Microsoft Academic Search

See Dean’s blog on the ‘rival’ to Google Scholar (link in side-bar) …

But what will Dean call his blog (currently Google Scholar Blog)?


Google has been chosen to provide free wi-fi access to San Francisco (Click here). It reminded me of a time, farily recently, when a large American publishing house approached TRIP with a view to potentially buying ‘us’. One of the main stumbling blocks related to our inability to store our records on a PDA. I suggested that it won’t be long before most places will be wi-fi enabled allowing ‘live’ searching of TRIP. They weren’t convinced! San Francisco’s plans seem to be a major step forward in this direction.

The storing of databases on a PDA reminds me of when Medline was available on a load of CDs. Who would go back to that arrangement now you can search on a live updated version (via PubMed or HubMed)?


When answering a clinical question I frequently think of how useful that might be in ganfyd. We got asked, again, about the use of statins in the eldery (click here). As we re-answered this question the link needed updating in ganfyd (click here). Similarly a Q on nitric oxide (NO) in asthmatics (click here) gets added to the NO entry in ganfyd (click here).

This recycling of clinically useful material makes perfect sense and highlights the syngergies between the projects.

In answering clinical questions we occasionally see examples of practice that could be considered wrong. Yesterday, we had two within 20 mins – making it stand out! I say ‘wrong’, that’s probably too harsh. It would be more accurate to say ‘practice considered contrary to best evidence’. But then isn’t that what the Q&A site is all about?

  • One was about using a stool test to re-test for H. Pylori eradication. The GP had used one 2 weeks after eradication therapy. In reality, according to the guidelines, you should only use a breath test. For more details click here
  • The other example was a 2-year old child being given the Pnuemovax vaccine. In the under fives it should have been Prevenar. For more details click here

Positive feedback

A small selection of feedback we’ve received this week, mainly from the NLH Q&A Service:

  • I’ve used this service for a few months and find it superb, long may it continue.
  • fantastic resource.
  • I’d really value this service long-term and not just as a pilot- its far more useful for GPs than a lot of the information sources we have access to.
  • I think this is an excellent service and would definately use this service again in the future, the answer was very indepth and extremely helpful. Thank you
  • I love you Jon!

We get these comments all the time (except the last one). Makes the ‘job’ very rewarding.


When the TRIP Database goes free access we need to ensure we obtain an income to pay for upgrades, maintainance etc. The main ways we’ve identified are:

  • Sales of meta-data
  • Adverts

The former we do already and hopefully, as we get more prominent due to our free nature, we’ll be able to increase this side of things. In the case of the latter our initial plan is to create our own in-house adverts which would allow us total control of what is advertised. We envisage these being displayed at the top of the search results page. However, is their a place for a google ads panel towards on the right-hand side of the search results? I have reservations, but the BMJ does it…

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