Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature


August 2018

MeSH on Trip

In April I posted that we had started to investigate adding MeSH to Trip. Just a quick note to report that our investigations have successfully been completed, thanks to great help from the NLM.  This has allowed us to auto-tag documents (PDFs or web-pages) with MeSH** with a reasonable accuracy.

So, all documents on Trip will have associated MeSH terms:

  • PubMed documents – autograb the MeSH terms assigned by the NLM
  • Non-PubMed documents (e.g. guidelines, synopses) – auto-tag documents using our new system

After that it’s a question of getting it to work on Trip!  Hopefully within three months…

** Note: only assigns MeSH, not major/minor or subheadings

Next upgrade to Trip

We’re currently planning our next round of updates to the site and below is our current list of potential upgrades. I say ‘current list’ as things tend to change and you – as a reader of the blog and probable user of Trip – have the ability to comment and change things yourself. Either leave a comment below or email me directly:

PICO search

A much loved aspect of Trip and one that has not been touched since its launch around ten years ago.  We plan to incorporate the work we’ve done around the PICO annotation of article titles. This should make the results even more focused on the PICO elements users have added.

MeSH and advanced search

This is a probably but not definite! We’re working with the NLM on some tools to help us annotate documents with MeSH terms. If they deliver on this, then we’ll introduce MeSH. We plan to use MeSH via an overhauled ‘Advanced search’ and possibly to link it in via the main search, we’ll have to see how that pans out.

Extra full text

We’re should be boosting the amount of full text articles by around 20-25%. Currently we link to PubMed Central, but we will now have the ability to link out to much more.

Search itself

Our algorithm is, like the PICO search, quite old and as such is well overdue an overhaul.  This will improve all sorts of things, such as:

  • Better search results generally
  • Removal/management of low-relevancy articles
  • Better handling of guidelines
  • Various annoying, minor, irritating issues

Content quality control

A few content issues have cropped up, so we’re doing a ‘deep clean’ of those!

Community features

This is a bit vague as we’re doing some experimenting as we go along on this!  But we’ve got two features in mind, both allowing users to interact with the site and share their experience/learning.


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