Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature


July 2012

Clinician similarity

I’m doing some work (well, thinking really) around clinician similarity and information needs.

Basically, if a UK general practitioner does a search for diabetes the intention/information needs are likely to be different than, say, a Brazilian endocrinologist. Yet, TRIP returns the same results.

If we created a similarity score (based on profession, interests and geography) we could we show the results as per normal but also have an area ‘Clinicians like you who searched for diabetes looked at these articles…’. 

We could also introduce something similar at an article level – ‘Clinicians like you who looked at this article also looked at these…’.

In a way, it’s using the experience of previous similar users of TRIP to filter and hopefully improve search results.

What do people think?

Important papers

As part of the new upgrade to the site we’re experimenting with a number of new features. An ‘Important Papers’ feature is a side-effect of one of our efforts, but what’s that?

When you search TRIP our algorithm is designed to show the best, most research, which is great.  However, much of the latest research is built on significant ‘historical’ papers in that field, for the time being we’re calling them ‘Important Papers’ (happy to take suggestions for other names).  These are important papers associated with the main search results.

To illustrate what I’m talking about, take an example search for ‘warfarin anticoagulation’, on the main TRIP the top results can be seen here (the top result being: Comparative Effectiveness of Warfarin and Newer Oral Anticoagulants for the Long-term Prevention and Treatment of Arterial and Venous Thromboembolism (Veterans Affairs Evidence-based Synthesis Program Reports 2012)).  Using our ‘Important Paper’ feature, the top 3 results are:

  • Placebo-controlled, randomised trial of warfarin and aspirin for prevention of thromboembolic complications in chronic atrial fibrillation (Lancet, 1989)
  • Oral Anticoagulants vs Aspirin in Nonvalvular Atrial Fibrillation An Individual Patient Meta-analysis (JAMA, 2002)
  • A risk score for predicting stroke or death in individuals with new-onset atrial fibrillation in the community: the Framingham Heart Study (JAMA, 2003)

We’re using a number of measures to infer importance including citations and social media.

Also, to be clear these results will be presented away from the main results (as a side-feature).

Will this feature be a hit?  I’ve no idea.  The results are certainly interesting and user feedback will decide if it stays.

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