Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature


December 2006

Auto e-mails

Finally, the TRIP Database has resurrected the auto e-mail function!

Via My-TRIP users can record kewords of interest. When new material is added to TRIP a match is undertaken and any matches are e-mailed to the user. Reviewing the functionality shows that some work is needed to improve My-TRIP (when we get the money!). However, the core functionality is there.

Onwards and upwards!

Journal Junk

There are an awful lot of journals aimed at practicing clinicians. Most of the output is junk!

BMJ Updates tries to overcome this problem and does a great job. As the blurb on the site says:

“all citations (from over 110 premier clinical journals) are pre-rated for quality by research staff, then rated for clinical relevance and interest by at least 3 members of a worldwide panel of practicing physicians.”

In a nutshell they have a least 3 people review every article in the 110 journals to decide whether or not they are clinically relevent or newsworthy – as well as being methodologically sound. They root out around 90% of all articles – so only the top 10% of articles are considered appropriate for inclusion BMJ Updates.

As mentioned above I really rate BMJ Updates, it’s superb. But surely the issue is that 90% of the initial articles going into these journals are not really clinically worthy/useful. In addition, or instead of, why aren’t all articles pre-critically appraised before inclusion; why aren’t they assessed for clinical worth?

I suppose the obvious answer is that if 90% of articles are removed – as they’re junk – from a monthly publication, you go from 12 issues a year to 1.2 issues. Therefore, making it uneconomically viable. Who controls the journals and, to a large extent, are agenda setters – journal editors. So, to make a significant change from the journals, we’re asking turkeys to vote for Christmas.

I suppose academia is also ‘guility’. All those RAE points that are needed can only help contribute to quantity not quality.

Why not have journals that only publish documents that meet certain quality criteria, come pre-critically appraised and are clinically useful? I have a feeling I’m exposing my niavity!

Askville by Amazon

See Askville – something similar may be seen in Gwagle…

A preview of Google’s "health URL"

Interesting indeed! (click here)

Microsoft Live Books

Another amazing looking resource – Microsoft’s Live Search Books.

Book Burro

I got this lead from Ben Toth. This is a brilliant application.

It doesn’t work with many sites, but it does on When you load a page with an ISBN number Book Burro recognises this and automatically compares prices over a variety of book stores. In additon, it has agreements with some libraries to show stock.

As you will see on the screenshot, Amazon is by no means the cheapest and also that the book is available in Earlham and Manchester Colleges. Not that that does me much good as I’m based in Cardiff – still it’s the principle that’s important.

November Zeitgeist

Below are the most viewed articles from TRIP for November:

  1. Growth reference charts for the UK (RCPCH) – viewed 188 times
  2. Contact dermatitis (PRODIGY) – 164
  3. Acute sore throat (PRODIGY) – 140
  4. Guidelines for the management of enteral tube feeding in adults (CREST) – 89
  5. Guidelines for the administration of blood components (ANZSBT) – 87
  6. Urine Dipstick for Diagnosing Urinary Tract Infection (FPIN) – 82
  7. Guidelines for Blood Grouping & Antibody Screening in the Antenatal & Perinatal Setting (ANZSBT) – 81
  8. Nutrition support in adults (NICE) – 80
  9. Lower back pain (PRODIGY) – 79
  10. Buprenorphine transdermal patches (Norspan) for chronic severe pain (NPS) – 78

The highest placed Q&A was, in 50th place, Treatment of Tinea unguis, viewed 44 times.

Another record month!

TRIP is getting more and more popular, find below our search stats:

  • 25,000 searches per month (while we were a subscription service)
  • 132,538 – September 2006
  • 191,581 – October 2006
  • 274,106 – November 2006

Since going free in September we’ve had monthly increases, in use, of approximately 45%. That’s strong growth, but when will it plateau?

Given the ‘strength’ of TRIP I’m looking forward to the next batch of upgrades. Not likely to happen till Spring 2007 (too busy on Gwagle). But if you have any suggestions on how to improve TRIP I would love to hear from you!

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