Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature


September 2009

An update

Right, this is what it happening. The site went live and started to develop problems. For some security reasons we were denied access to our own servers so couldn’t fix things. We then had to take the decision to roll-back to the ‘old’ version. We should have regained access to our server yesterday to fix things, but that was not possible (for all sorts of technical reasons). We’re hoping that this will now happen this morning.

Assuming that is the case we can start to investigate the causes (we have a fair idea already) and hopefully a rollout soon after.

It’ll be worth it.

Now you see it, now you don’t

Huge embarrassment for ourselves and we are very very sorry for the messing around.

Basically, the new site was up for around 6 hours and for – as yet – unknown reason was highly unstable. We’ve taken the decision to revert to the old version of the site while we fix it. We’re hoping this will take no more than 48 hours. Another knock-on of this is that we need to take the whole site down shortly (probably tomorrow) for around 2 hours!

For all those of you who registered on the new site, you’re registrations will be safe.

Once again we’re very sorry and very embarrassed!

New site – mixed news!

Apologies, but the new site won’t actually go properly live till Monday! It’s ready, but we haven’t got time to test it.

However, if you’re interested, you can give the new site a whirl via this beta URL.

New site

It should be tomorrow (18th Sept) morning when the new site goes live. It took a little longer to transfer from the development server to the live server (where it is now). So, the stability testing will not finish until after the network people have gone home, but I’m hoping they’ll be in nice and early!

If you like the current TRIP, this should be the last few hours before it goes forever…..

Don’t worry, the new site is significantly better 🙂

New site imminent

We’re currently transferring over the new site to our ‘live’ servers. Once this has been completed and various checks made we can go live. It may be today or tomorrow morning (assuming nothing major happens).

If the site goes live tomorrow it’ll conincide with a meeting to discuss another significant round of upgrades to the site (for launch in November/December). Things really are moving fast and don’t look like slowing down in the slightest!

New logo

Ahead of tomorrow’s launch (fingers crossed) we’re revealing our new logo.

You’ll note that we’ve kept the pyramid motif but have modified it. The colours in the pyramid correspond with those in the ‘evidence slider‘ with the highest quality evidence represented by green, which is at the top of the pyramid. We’ve embraced colours in TRIP as it’s a quick and easy way to recognise the corresponding level of evidence of a particular result. You’ll also note that we’ve incorporated the trademark symbol (TM) into the logo (a legal requirement) as we have the trademark for TRIP.

What to expect next week

After yesterday’s teaser of the ‘evidence slider’ today is another glimpse into the new TRIP.

S0, what does the above all mean? Basically, the above image is taken from the foot of the results page on TRIP and the key elements are:

  • ‘Not found what you’re looking for?’ – it has always bothered me that TRIP doesn’t answer all the questions all the time, so what do you do then? We’ve teamed up with SumSearch in a reciprocal agreement that allows users to seamlessly search each others sites. You search on prostate cancer in TRIP and the link to SumSearch is dynamically generated to search SumSearch for prostate cancer. You’ll also see that we’re pulling through the top results from Google, which in user testing was seen very positively.
  • Medical images. As mentioned previously on this blog we’ve significantly increased the number of medical images available to our system. In previous surveys users have indicated that they’re not aware we actual search medical images. To help combat that, we’re displaying medical images in the main results page.
  • Community noticeboard. Do you have a message you want to share with others? This free service will allow targetted messages to be displayed to users of TRIP. Want to highlight a conference, job, recruit patients? Why not use this feature.

There’s so much more to show as well – this really is the largest ever set of enhancements to TRIP.

The new TRIP

The new version of TRIP is very close to launch. Unless we have any major problems highlighted it’ll go live early next week. One of the major new enhancements will be the introduction of a ‘quality slider’. I first raised this problem/solution in 2007 (see this article). It’s amazing that the concept has come back and works very well when in operation:

We have now colour coded all records in TRIP based on the concept of the hierarchy of evidence. When someone carries out a search of TRIP they’ll have all the results presented. But, they may decide to only include the highest quality evidence, in which case they simply move the slider to the left and all the lower quality evidence is removed.

The future of Q&A

TechCrunch is a technology blog and is respected enough to gain access to te biggest tech players in the world. In this interview with the CEO of Google (Eric Schmidt) they ask about the future of search:

“So I don’t know how to characterize the next 10 years except to say that we’ll get to the point – the long-term goal is to be able to give you one answer, which is exactly the right answer over time. Okay, you know, the question I’ll ask today, how many Americans have – what percentage of Americans have passports?…The Google’s answer was a site, which was somebody who had attempted to answer that question and had multiple answers. It’s quite interesting actually to read…So you go to a very good definitive site. And what I’d like to do is to get to the point where we could read his site and then summarize what it says, and answer the question…Along with the citation and so forth and so on.”

It’s a challenge to do that for fact based questions (such as ‘How many Americans have passports?’) but could they really tackle clinical questions? These sorts of questions are so much harder as there is often not an answer – more the odd bit of research that helps a doctor form an opinion. Perhaps in twenty years time they’ll get close!

Click here for the full article.

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