Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature


May 2006

What is TRIP for?

The testing of the new search algorithm is having implications far beyond those expected. The current system of ‘title’ and ‘title and text’ distinction allows for a very accurate location of material. However, the use of these features can be cumbersome. The abolition of ‘title’/’title and text’ distinction creates a compromise.

Perhaps the solution is to adopt the new algorithm, which will give us a great new challenge of always trying to improve it. We could then create an advanced search page for our ‘advanced’ users who take advantage of more of the current search features. The advanced search could look like the Google advanced search with fields for ‘title’ words and ‘title and text’ words….

But, going back to the title of this post, what is TRIP for? Our general view is that its a tool to allow clinicians to rapidly identify high-quality research evidence with which to base a clinical decision on. But that’s our view, our users might have different ideas.

Search algorithm test

Before going free-access in September we’re experimenting with a new search algorithm, which was delivered 2 days ago. We’ve got around 25 volunteers to play with it to see how they think it works. It’s difficult for me to be objective but my initial trials are promising. A few weird results, but hopefully these are small issues relative to the improvements.

It’s made me appreciate the ‘work in progress’ all search systems must have in order to improve. I feel we’re at the start of a very long journey – exciting times.

Google Health – arrived?

Been doing some work around google health and yesterday I searched for ‘tonsillitis’ and got the image on the left, this didn’t work in Canada! Just did a search for ‘prostate cancer’ and got the second image – note the refine function. Interestingly, or perhaps disappointingly, it didn’t give the same results with ‘prostatic carcinoma’ – perhaps synonyms will be plugged later.

Although is this google health? Wouldn’t that be stand alone like google finance – something like

One of the refine functions is ‘For health-professionals’ which when clicked gives the following search syntax ‘more:for_health_professionals’. Alas, for tonsillitis the first page of results are for patient information sites! For prostate cancer it did slightly better – but not hugely!

Popular Papers – April 2006

Below are the top ten papers reached via the TRIP Database for April 2006.

1) Acute Pain Management (National Health and Medical Research Council)
2) Geriatric Care and Treatment (SBU)
3) National clinical guidelines for stroke 2nd edition (Royal College of Physicians)
4) A review of the effectiveness and appropriateness of peer-delivered health promotion interventions for young people (eppi)
5) Anemia (eMedicine)
6) Antenatal care Routine care for the healthy pregnant woman (RCOG/NICE)
7) Management of chronic pain in adults (NHS Quality Improvement Scotland)
9) Contraception (PRODIGY)

Microsoft QnA

Microsoft discuss their new QnA service (click here).

Recommendations from HubMed (click here)

EBMsources evaluate the TRIP Database

EBMsources have evaluated the TRIP Database (click here for evaluation). TRIP did reasonably well, scoring 87/100.

I’ve been working with EBMsources to try and improve their scoring system, a new version is currently being validated.

TRIP lost score for not being bilingual – betraying EBMsources origins – French Canadian, making bilingualism more of an issue. It also losts points for not being free (soon to be fixed) as well as a few other bits and bobs.

Google health

USA Today reports on the possible release of Google Health next week.

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