Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature


May 2019

Eight new publications added to Trip

Trip is loved because it’s easy to use and allows users to quickly identify high-quality evidence. A clear prerequisite is to have lots of high-quality evidence! As such we’re always on the look out for such content and this month has been a bumper month – with the inclusion of eight new publishers. Many of these were identified by reviewing the latest CADTH Grey Matters tool.

And, one request for you, if you know of any sites which should be included in Trip, please let us know (via comments or email

Below is the list of newly added content:

  1. Palliative Care Evidence Review Service (Rapid reviews)
  2. EUnetHTA (HTA)
  3. SickKids Reports (Reviews)
  4. SickKids Supportive Care Guidelines (Guidelines)
  5. Washington Health Care Authority (HTA)
  6. Health Information and Quality Authority (HTA)
  7. European Society of Endocrinology (Guidelines)
  8. Pediatric Endocrine Society (Guidelines)

NOTE: These have only just been uploaded and will take up to 72 hours to be indexed and searchable!

Answering clinical questions – positioning survey

Last week I highlighted our plans for a Q&A system to harness the combined intelligence of the Trip community.  In that, I identified two main challenges:

  • Technology – to make the system work
  • User acceptance – how can we explain the system in a way that users can relate to and make sense of (and ultimately use)?

The latter challenge seems much harder and to help us we’ve created a brief survey which we’re hoping as many of you as possible will complete. It should take around 2 minutes – so hopefully time is not a barrier to use.  To undertake the survey please CLICK HERE.

To repeat, please take the survey (CLICK HERE) – your opinion really does count.

Answering clinical questions

Trip started as a service to support clinical question answering. Since then the site has changed dramatically but we still see clinical question answering as the main drive and focus.

But what happens if Trip lets a user down? In other words the user has a question, uses Trip and can’t find an answer! In the last two days we’ve received two questions from users:

  • EBM causation of intervertebral disc herniation?
  • Dexmedetomidine and brain protection: fact or fiction?

Now, I dare say the answer is somewhere in Trip and I imagine that terms like ‘brain protection’ may need clarifying. But, at the heart of it – for whatever reason – the users are struggling.

So, we return to the notion of using Trip’s community to help answer them. There is no doubt that there are people, who are registered on Trip, who will know about disc herniation and dexmedetomidine. They may well be able to easily answer these questions. So, why not send the Qs to those most likely to know the answer?

Well, you may have guessed it, but that’s the plan, to create a community Q&A system. There are a number of challenges, for instance:

  • Technology: linking the Q to those most likely to be able to answer them. We’ve engaged with an external company to work on this problem and we’re feeling very confident that good progress will be made.
  • User engagement: we know many people love Trip and we know we have many registered users (over 100,000) but will a large enough proportion be willing to help their fellow users? We’re thinking yes! But we need to communicate really well to explain what we’re doing and reduce any barriers to community involvement.

No timeline, but now we’re committed I’m hoping we can motor!


Blog at

Up ↑