In January we were searched, as mentioned previously, 365,855 times. But we can now give some more detail as to how people use us:

  • Advanced search was used 12,834 times (3.5%)
  • Our spelling correction function was used 12,774 times (3.5%)
  • Medline articles were viewed 6,988 times (1.9%)
  • The Medline search was ‘specialised’ 1,825 times (0.5%)

This suggests that users tend to use the core TRIP content and rarely follow the links to Medline and even less use the specialisation feature. This might be because it isn’t highlighted well (I tend to think not). Alternatively, our inclusion of certain key Medline articles (JAMA, NEJM, Lancet, BMJ, Annals of Internal Medicine and BMJ Updates) which means the ‘best’ material is captured by TRIP. Another possibility is that users simply want TRIP for evaluated, secondary material and if they wanted PubMed, they’d use it.

The large number of mis-spellings shows the worth of investing in our auto-spelling correction function. I’m proud that we were one of the first (if not the first) large clinical database to incorporate this feature (2 years earlier than PubMed).

Our new round of updates is currently underway and one area I’m hoping to improve is the advanced search, it doesn’t perform to the standard I expect. Is the realtively low useage a sign of the greatness of the main search algorithm (so users have no ‘need’ for the advanced search OR a reflection of the poor experience of users attempting to use the current advanced search?

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