Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature


July 2007

Journal of Q&A

Following on from yesterday’s post I sent a quick e-mail to Dean (Giustini) over at Open Medicine asking about their software platform. They use Open Journal Systems, which is free, obviously robust and fit for purpose. I’m intrigued by their document “OJS in an Hour”

Q&A as peer-reviewed journal

Q&A services support clinicians by offering clinically relevant information with minimal effort. One of my most frequent moans (aside from middle-lane hoggers on the motorway) has been the poor sharing of answered questions.

Many of our questions are dealt with ‘sorry, we found no evidence’, which may seem a poor answer, but clinicians seem to be happy with these. However, a number also receive more complex answers with multiple evidence sources.

Why not create a journals to formalise these answers? Why not have our answer followed by a ‘commentary’ by a clinician (be it a generalist or specialist)? The format of the journal ‘Evidence-Based Medicine’ springs to mind (see for an example). This has the abstract followed by a commentary. See below for truncated image.

On finding the studio banjo

Another ‘random’ title for a blog entry – I’ve been looking for an excuse!

Things have been fairly hectic of late. The NLH Q&A Service continues to move on with an expansion in questions we can answer (35-50 per week). The new arrangement also gives us greater flexibility, which suits us all very well.

My encounter with Facebook is proving interesting. Still not 100% sure why, although I’ve recently been contacted by a friend I lost track off after college (1991).

I’m very excited about a meeting next week – to finalise the next update to TRIP. There are 3 main planks, the first I’ve discussed before, a significant overhaul in the search algorithm. One of the others I’ve mentioned in the past – the content/quality slider. However, the big enhancement I’ll leave for another day.

Finally, I’ll be gone for most of this week, at the Manchester International Festival.

Blog at

Up ↑