Trip Database Blog

Liberating the literature

Using Trip via mobiles or tablets

We understand how important access to Trip is for mobile and tablet users and as such we have invested significantly in this area with a full-responsive site. There is no requirement for an app (our previous app is no longer supported and will be withdrawn shortly) and users should navigate, via their phone/tablet’s browser to the usual Trip page –

The site works well and looks beautiful (while I may be biased I do think it looks great) and there are a few screenshots below. Any comments either email me ( or leave them in the comments.

Home page
Results page

The difference between free and Pro Trip

Trip introduced the freemium business model over 5 years ago. It was our approach to remaining both viable and independent. The fact that we’re still here (and doing well) is some validation of our approach.

Subscriptions are available for individuals at $55 per year while institutions can subscribe, with costs dependent on both their size and organisational ‘type’ (click here for current prices).

But what do you get for the subscription? Below is an overview of the differences and as we develop new features these will mostly favour Pro subscribers:

Institutional subscriptions

Buying an institutional license is a cost-effective way of bringing the power of Trip to your organisation.  Trip can be useful in many different ways, for instance:

  • Supporting clinical care by helping clinicians to easily find robust, evidence-based, answers to their clinical questions.
  • Trip is widely used by systematic review producers.
  • Easy access to hundreds of thousands of full-text articles.
  • The evidence-based content of Trip supports the writing of clinical guidelines.
  • Preparing research grants is made easier with easy access to pre-existing research.

Pricing is based on size and type of institution.  While not ideal it acts as a starting point for negotiations and if you feel you’re disadvantaged by this method then please contact us to discuss further.  NOTE: figures are in US Dollars and is the annual cost. Discounts can also be arranged for multi-year arrangements.

Academic Institution

  • Very small (<1,000 FTEs) – $875
  • Small (1-5,000) – $1,400
  • Medium (5-15,000 FTEs) – $1,990
  • Large (15,000+ FTEs) – $3,500

Hospitals/health centres

  • Very small (<50 beds) – $525
  • Small (<250 beds) – $1,075
  • Medium (250-1,000 beds) – $1,990
  • Large (1,000+ beds) – $2,890

Government, other public sector organisations and charities

  • Very small (<20 staff) – $340
  • Small (<75 staff) – $1,110
  • Medium (75-250 staff) – $1,990
  • Large (250+ staff) – $2,925


  • Small (<75 staff) – $1,800
  • Medium (75-500 staff) – $5,850
  • Large (500+ staff) – $13,000

Institutions from resource poor settings.

For institutions based in the lowest World Bank income classification (Low-income economies) Trip is free while those classed as Lower-middle-income economies or Upper-middle-income economies generous discounts are available.  For further details contact

Trip currently supports a number of methods but the principle method is via IP authentication. 

Free trials

We can easily arrange free trials of Trip Pro, to request one please email

Have any questions?

If so, contact us via

The new site is live

After over a year of hard-work we have just released the latest version of Trip. We had to re-write ALL the website, replacing code that, in some places, was over 15 years old!

We’ve produced a brief overview video which you can see here

Users might find this key useful.

We’ve tested this extensively so we’re hoping any issues will be minor, but if you spot an issue then please let me know:

New site live – tomorrow

Sometime tomorrow morning (1st July) we will switch over from the old site to the new site.

This has been a massive rewriting of code – it’s taken over 12 months – and it has been well tested over the last three months. However, it’d be naïve to think they’ll be no issues. But our development team are primed to act quickly so, if there are any disruptions, then they shouldn’t take too long to fix.

Below are the new home page and results page:

Closeness of search terms

If a user conducts a search for, say, prostate cancer screening we can say these terms are linked. Now, if someone else searches for breast cancer screening you can see there are linkages between those three terms. But, you can also link back to the previous search via the terms cancer screening. So, why not map them? The below images are based on a really small sample of our clickstream data, but map the connections between search terms.

The above is based on a small sample of search terms around UTI. The one below uses a linked, but different technique:

You can see that there are different circle sizes (representing popularity of search) and some lines are thicker than others, showing these we searched together more often. Below is an easier to read sample of the above:

So what? Why am I sharing?

I can’t help feeling this is useful for highlighting search terms of interest for reviews. For instance, you may have 5 terms in your search, by harnessing the power of linked terms a system may suggest a further ten that may be useful! A form of query expansion perhaps?!

Trip, TripClick and the future of search

The Trip algorithm is great. To explain, the algorithm is the ‘behind the scenes’ way we order the results you see on the screen. As mentioned, it works great.

However, that’s not to mean it can’t be improved and we are currently working with a number of academics to try to use our data to improve search methods generally (not just Trip). We have an accompanying paper TripClick: The Log Files of a Large Health Web Search Engine. The idea is that, by using our clickstream data (what people search for, what they click on etc), machine learning techniques can be used to improve search results.

What’s particularly exciting is that we have created a competition, pitting different academic centres against each other, to see who returns the best results. Yesterday we had our first academic centre to report results:

I’m happy for a number of reasons, mainly:
  • The improvement over baseline was large
  • It was from a team headed by Prof Allan Hanbury at TU Wein, the wonderful lead of Trip’s Horizon 2020 work a few years back.

The competition is likely to run for months and after that it’s a question of taking stock and seeing how we can utilise the techniques within Trip.

If we can improve on our search results, even marginally, it’ll be a great result.

Guidelines, an exciting update

Trip prides itself on the comprehensive coverage of clinical guidelines; we’re not aware of any resource that comes close in this regard. Given the importance we have spent considerable resource trying to improve it further. One aspect has been our guideline grading project, which we hope to instigate sometime in the next 3-4 months.

More immediately, we are delighted to announce the first output from our project to mine PubMed for clinical guidelines. Up until this weekend all our guidelines were found via guideline repositories, professional website associations etc. This is great, but we’re aware that, for a number of reasons, this misses many guidelines. So, we have started a project to locate guidelines in PubMed and the first results are now available. We have focussed on national guidelines and have extracted guidelines from Japan, Poland, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, Saudi Arabia Italy and many others.

Due to this work we have added just under 1,000 new guidelines with more to follow over the next few months.

What people are saying about the new site

We’ve had a fair bit of feedback on the new site so I thought I’d share it and respond to a few comments. And, as means of an update, we’re working on a ‘snagging’ list of things that need fixing. With a good wind, we’ll move the new site over by the end of May.

The vast majority of users found it easy or very easy to use and a similar number felt confident in using the new system although a few people fed back that they’ll need a bit of time to understand all the changes (BTW this key might help).

When we asked specifically what they liked, this was the sort of feedback:

  • Colours
  • Shift to the left-hand side of the ‘filter by evidence type’ – nice to see as it was a major worry for me!

Some specific comments being:

Pretty much all of it. Particularly the quality rating for the primary studies.”
“Beautiful and simple

When asked what they disliked:

  • ‘Nothing’ was, thankfully, a common response
  • Access to certain features (eg Latest and Greatest, LibKey) – these we’re dealing with in our ‘snagging list’
  • Evidence maps – this is not a feature we’re going to retain for now. It served a purpose, but it’s out of date, things have moved on and I’d want to reinstate it if we had the resource to do it properly!
  • Evidence pyramids – I feel your pain, it was something we gave up as part of the wider redesign ‘look and feel’

It’s not too late to give feedback yourself, please use this form.

And, finally, an important issue is that the new site has not crashed once 🙂

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