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TRIP Database & TRIP Answers

Posted Apr 06 2010 11:30am

See also PubMed - MEDLINE and SumSearch

The is a freely-available metasearch tool used to find medical evidence. Although international, it presents considerable content and information originating in the United Kingdom. TRIP began in 1997 as a result of founders Jon Brassey (see blog ) and Dr. Chris Price who wanted to design a tool to find and present information to answer clinical questions. One of its goals was to return answers in a quick time frame and to locate the best evidence. To identify the best evidence, relevant materials were culled from various databases and a mix of relevant websites. Similar to other tools, TRIP is an indispensable way to find evidence quickly. According to its publicity, manual searches of evidence-based sites are performed to build the database and a spreadsheet is created to build the search tool. TRIP aims to assist searchers in locating high-quality materials and is guided by the need to present a range of materials. TRIP has been evaluated by the , and the report was used in the 2006 upgrade. TRIP was a subscription service until 2006 when it went free on the web. In 2010, was given a redesign.

  • See and
  • TRIP is on Twitter -

Searching

  • See also Yale University School of Medicine's

Searching in many keyword-driven search tools is often confined to searches of "title" and/or "title and text". In TRIP, the idea is that citations about the topic 'asthma' are most likely reflected in articles titles. While useful to search for titles, a over-reliance on keyword title searching presents retrieval problems. Even in titles, searching for asthma generates false hits and overload. Identifying relevant material is difficult as users often want to combine two or three additional terms not found in the title or text. In TRIP, it is recommended that:

  1. title searches be performed first, then;
  2. title and text searches
  3. combine at least two sets
  4. click on categories and browse results

Most physicians are familiar with Google, and add terms to search quickly across the web. Average numbers of search terms per search is gradually increasing over time as users becoming more sophisticated. Therefore, increased use of terms is reflected now in TRIP. The challenge is to try and mimic the Google search interface yet still return good results. TRIP has produced a system that works well, according to Jon's blog. His plan is to continue to improve the search algorithm.

TRIP Answers

In November 2008, TRIP released a new website called -- a free repository of clinical questions and answers from a global network of information services. The site currently holds 6,381 Q&As. The bulk originate from primary care doctors with the majority answered by information specialists. After 16 months and over 1,100,000 page views the site has had a major overhaul in 2010.

References

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