Less than a month since the launch of the free service and we’re already planning our first algorithm improvement. This has come about by the observation that eTextbooks are appearing too high up in the results. TRIP is principally about returning best evidence. As such eTextbooks have a role. However, they should generally appear below other evidence sources.

The problem of them appearing so high up has been caused by the perfect match between search terms and eTextbook document titles . Typically users use a single search word (or phrase) to search TRIP. eTextbooks typically use single words or phrases in their title. So they score highly for title matches. In other words if someone searches for ‘Asthma’ a document just called ‘Asthma’ gets a significantly higher score than ‘In children with asthma what is the appropriate management’. In the first example its a 100% match, in the 2nd it only matches 11%. we’ve tried various techniques to dampen this effect but now is the time to get the programmers in! Hopefully the new algorithm will be tested and released by mid-October.

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