The new upgrades have been well received and appear stable (phew).  But we’re not resting and we’re working on a  number of projects; the main ones being:

  • Learning to rank: The search algorithm decides what order the results appear in Trip.  Ours has been unchanged for many years and this shows how good it is.  However, technology has moved on over the years and one of the most exciting developments has been the technique known as learning to rank (LTR or L2R).  This uses machine learning to help understand what attributes of a result make them most likely to be clicked.  It then uses this to rank articles on the likelihood of being clicked.  This will be properly tested using a technique known as interleaving.  Timescale: We’re hoping to start testing in the next 2-3 months.
  • Community rapid review: Early days in the plans but there has been considerably enthusiasm from Trip users wanting to get involved.  An outline can be seen here while an important aspect, an educational environment, is also an important consideration (click here). Timescale: Finalised outline by July with system released by the end of the year.
  • Automated rapid reviews: Is it possible to create automatic reviews?  We think so and have started out exploring this as an option.  While not as detailed as the semi-manual community rapid review system it will still be really useful and in ways that many will not expect.  In addition, the methods used lend themselves to visualisations which will further enhance their impact. Timescale: By the end of the year, hopefully sooner.
  • Strategy: I have started reviewing the next steps of Trip with an external strategy expert.  It’s not been the most comfortable experiences (strategy is not my favoured environment), but I feel we’re making real progress. Timescale: Within 3-4 months.

At the same time we’ll continue to focus on the quality of the content and our new manual broken link system’s really useful in that respect.  We’re also working through our major providers of content to completely refresh their links. Last month was the National Guideline Clearinghouse and this month was Cochrane and CKS.

The above seems lovely an ambitious and we’re loving it!