This is one of the most important challenges facing Trip, one which I hope I can rely on your help.
How to help people use Trip to capture and publish evidence collections!? Collections of evidence already exist and are typically time consuming. Four examples:
- ATTRACT – this is part of my NHS work. Our team receives questions and finds appropriate evidence with which to answer it. Relatively unstructured.
- ATTRACT CME – a good example might be this review of obesity. In this example it’s a mixed collection of the latest evidence and background information.
- BestBETs – these are reviews, based on questions arriving in emergency medicine, that tackle a single question. In many ways these are similar to ATTRACT but are more structured.
- Cochrane systematic reviews – these are highly structured collections of clinical trails.
Non-health related collections are important and available, a few examples:
- Pinterest – see this example of Liverpool Football Club.
- Amazon’s wish list – users can create a collections of items they’d like to buy
Summary: collections are everywhere and are clearly useful.
I see two issues in relation to Trip:
- Would Trip users like to make collections?
- If they do, what might it look like?
I think the answer to 1. is ‘yes, assuming you can make it a rewarding and easy exercise‘.
But 2. is really problematic; how to create a product that looks great, is easy to use and facilitates the production of robust and useful reviews? We can do a few clever things such as making it easy to group articles together, auto-reference and even suggest related articles. But you’re still left with the core problem – the middle of the collection – the actual content (sandwiched between title and references)?
I like the visual impact of something like pinterest (see another example from Doctors Without Borders). Highly visual, so engaging. The downside being there’s not much space for text. But again, I could see us allowing a user to pull in their documents of interest, annotating each article with the key point and then pulling it together with a summary and/or clinical bottom line.
At the top of the post I said this was the most important challenges to Trip, I believe it and I also believe if we get it right we will have created something hugely useful.
So, if you read this and have any suggestions, no matter how silly/random you may feel they are, please let me know (via comment below or emailing me – email@example.com). Often it just takes a few novel thoughts to unblock the creative process. This perspective is exemplified by a comment I received at a Trip training session where a user said they would love to be able to ‘tag’ an article (or articles) saying these helped her answer a particular question. In other words, she wanted to group articles together around answering a clinical question. That simple request started all this thinking…!