Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature


December 2010

TRIP in 2010

It’s a bit of a tradition to do some sort of review of the year.  This year I’m combining this with my love of the data visualisation site Wordle.  Wordle takes blocks of text and displays them in a manner that allows you to instantly see which words are used more frequently that others. The more often a word is mentioned the bigger the word is displayed.  I’m hoping this makes sense!

For the review of 2010, I’ve taken the titles of all the documents manually uploaded to TRIP during the year and given it to Wordle to display, the results are below.  The graph should expand when it’s clicked, but if not the full word cloud can be viewed here.

Wordle: TRIP 2010

RIS and Background Knowledge Boxes

RIS is the file format for reference management software and we’ve been asked on a number of occasions if TRIP can support this format.  In other words, allow users to select search results in TRIP and export them – via RIS – into their reference management software package.  We’re delighted to say this has now been released and users can select it via the drop-down menu at the top of the search results (see image below – click to make bigger).  NOTE: TRIP does not have access to all meta-data so the export will be for partial results only.

Another bit of work we’ve been doing is looking to 2011 (see previous post).  I’m very keen to redesign the results page to make the results more useful.  One feature that we’ve spent a lot of time creating has been the background knowledge boxes (these appear at the top of many of the search results that link to eTextbooks linked to the search terms – see image above).  However, we’ve started to look at how popular this feature is and yesterday it was used 30 times.  This seems relatively little, so perhaps we need to consider if such a modestly useful feature deserves such prominence. 

It’s always the battle, balancing the demands on precious screen space between results and ‘added value’ features. 

Feel free to comment on any of the above topics…

The next upgrade to TRIP

Now TILT is out and seeming to be operating well it’s time to turn our attention to the next upgrade to TRIP.  So far we’ve got a number of suggestions, including:

  • Better support for languages other than English.
  • RIS export (we actually hope to get this out before the main update).
  • Linking in to content on the BNF.
  • Better differentiation of content types (e.g. evidence, images, patient information).
  • Introduction of new content types.
  • Integration with TILT.

There are others but the above are some of the the main ones. 

I’m guessing that if you’re reading this then you’re likely to be a regular user of TRIP.  How can we make it better?  What new features would you like to see?  Any gripes that annoy you about TRIP?

Analysing TRIP searches: COPD

We’ve been doing some analysis looking at what users are looking for when they search TRIP.  Below are two visual representations of this, using COPD as an example.

The top image shows all the additional search terms used when people have searched for COPD.  In other words, if someone searched for ‘COPD and exacerbations’ we have analysed the auxiliary terms, in this example it’s exacerbations. NOTE: Click on image to make bigger.

Wordle: COPD - search terms

This second image uses a similar process to highlight the documents users actually went on to visit. 


Help support TRIP

I’m guessing, if you’re reading this that you like TRIP and feel what we do is important.

If that is correct can you please read our request for donations.

Thank you in advance.


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