Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature


March 2012

Freemium TRIP?

I’m still going over the future direction of TRIP and it’s exciting.  We have one potential buyer that we’re talking with and that’s potentially a great move for TRIP – making it secure and allowing investment in the product.However, we cannot allow the potential purchase to divert us from planning for the future. 

As well as all the design and functionality issues mentioned before (see here) I’ve been thinking about developing a premium version of TRIP.  TRIP, as is, would remain free but we’d add functionality to a ‘paid for’ version.  I can see a number of possible enhancements that might make subscribing worthwhile, for instance:

  • Development of the answer engine, possibly including content from other subscription services.
  • Linking out to full-text.  If an organisation subscribed the library could add the link resolver details to the site and a user would then be able to seamlessly link-out to full-text.
  • Allow the organisation to add their own content to the site (e.g. local guidelines, pathways etc).

Given TRIP’s low overheads we could probably create a low cost subscription model and at the same time offer a much enhanced service.

If we don’t get bought I’m not sure where the money will come from – we’ll see!


Relatively early days of this year and it’s already proving interesting.

I’m still working on the answer engine idea (see here for last post on the topic) and have had the first meeting about that.  There are lots of issues to be resolved, but these appear fairly clear and none particularly worry me!

One topic that has concerned me is the relationship between TRIP and any answer engine we create.  Fortunately, that has clarified over the months and I can easily see a fit that allows a users to search TRIP and get a combined set of results – TRIP results and associated answers.  I’ve done some mock-ups and it fits seamlessly.  So, very excited. 

As ever money is the limiting factor but we may have some good news on that front in the near future.  But, due to this and commercial sensitivities around the answer engine I’m having to stop being quite so open and transparent – which is a real shame.  I think that helps explain why there have been few blog posts this year – even though it has been a really exciting start.

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