Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature


July 2009

Another blog for TRIP

I’ve just added the 3rd blog to TRIP – this time it’s the National Prescribing Centre’s blog. The blog focuses on pharmaceutical issues and publishes 6-7 articles per month. This is an excellant edition to the evidence base of TRIP.

Patient Information

TRIP has typically concentrated on research evidence. However, we have recognised the usefullness of patient information leaflets and have included a variety of leaflets from around the globe. The slight problem is that, as they were only available via a separate tab, few people were aware they existed. Therefore, in the new site they’ll be blended in with the main results (although they can easily be excluded from the search or the search limited to just patient information leaflets.

In preparation we have just uploaded to excellent collections of patient information leaflets (and deleted some out of date records). The new collections are:

My-TRIP Users – important notice

The new version of TRIP will now be released at the start of September and this will include a significantly enhanced My-TRIP.

Unfortunately, as we’re using new technology the two versions are not compatible. Therefore, if users of My-TRIP have information they want to save, they should save it between now and the end of August.

We’re sorry for any problems this may cause, but this inconvenience will be worth it for the boost in functionality.

Monthly update

We have just added July’s monthly update of 807 new records, which includes the 3rd edition of Cochrane. In addition to this manual upload our automated systems will be grabbing additional content from the likes of and PubMed.

This new content should be searchable in the next 1-3 days.

Using TRIP to help identify content suitable for resource poor nations

I’ve been talking with HIFA2015 which is a campaign group hoping to improve access (for patients and health professionals) to health information in developing nations. I commented that, given most of the content of TRIP is aimed at richer nations, it makes it more difficult for users from poorer nations to identify material appropriate for their context.

I’ve thought of a rather simple solution – allow users of TRIP to identify such content. Basically, someone does a search and in the results they see a resource suitable for poorer nations – they click a button next to the record and this is tagged as being suitable for resource poor nations. When someone does a search they could press a button and then restrict the results to ‘resource poor’. To start with this wouldn’t be particularly useful – but with 25,000+ visits a day I’m sure it’d work quite well within a short space of time.

There are quality issues that need working through, and we’re working on these. But I’m hoping this might be a reasonably efficient mechanism to solve a difficult problem.

Junior doctors and wikipedia

This paper “Junior physician’s use of Web 2.0 for information seeking and medical education: A qualitative study” has caught the imagination of some of the bloggers I read and admire. The conclusion of the above paper reads:

Web 2.0 use represents a profound departure from previous learning and decision processes which were normally controlled by senior medical staff or medical schools. There is widespread concern with the risk of poor quality information with Web 2.0 use, and the manner in which physicians are using it suggest effective use derives from the mitigating actions by the individual physician. Three alternative policy options are identified to manage this risk and improve efficiency in Web 2.0’s use.

@amcunningham blogged about this on Tuesday (click here) while @DrVes blogged yesterday (click here). Two different angles on the paper, both worth a read!

TRIP Developments

Things are getting very hectic at TRIP!

As I’ve mentioned previously we’re having a massive overhaul of the site. Coupled to that, as you’ll see from my last post, we’ve been setting up an advisory board. The board is now set-up and the results of which are starting to be realised. The group consists of 70 people with around 50% clinicians, 40% information specialists and the remainder being an esoteric mix. The board is run through Ning, which appears to work very well.

There is still an opportunity to join the board, if you’re interested let me know via

We’re planning on launching the new site towards the end of this month so until then I’ll be quiet on the blog.

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