Stephanie Henderson, MLS
Nursing Liaison Librarian
University of Kentucky Medical Center Library
Trip, formerly known as Turning Research into Practice, is a free search engine for finding research to support evidence-based practice. Trip searches over 75 sources to find evidence from systematic reviews, evidence-based synopses, clinical guidelines, and regulatory guidance. Trip content also includes international guidelines, e-textbooks, PubMed, and PubMed Central, in addition to high-quality evidence-based medical information from sources such as BMJ, Lancet, JAMA, and NEJM. The identification of sources to add to the Trip database is found by two methods. One is from the Q&A area of Trip, where answers to questions are added and these sources are evaluated for addition to Trip. The other is the network of Trip users who provide source suggestions. Trip will typically not add a source in which a person who suggests it has a conflict of interest. The PubMed content in Trip is updated every two weeks and other content is updated monthly.
Features and Functionality
The Trip interface is laid out as a Google-like search box, with search mode links above the box. Search modes include Search, PICO, Advanced Search and Recent. Search is a basic search the supports Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), truncation, phrase searching, proximity searching, dates ranges, and title field searching. Trip provides a blog1 with details featuring examples of each searching technique. Trip makes the search process relevant to the evidence-based practice by adding a PICO search feature. PICO (population, intervention, comparison, outcome) is a framework for structuring clinical-based questions. The Advanced and Recent search modes are offered only to Trip Pro account users. Trip also includes clear, easy-to-follow video tutorials on a How to Use page. There is also a tour feature that walks users through 26 steps describing the search process, results, filters, and additional features of Trip and Trip Pro with links to see more detailed information.
There is toolbar navigation (Home, About, How to Use, Contact Us, Blog, Tour, Latest & Greatest, Evidence Maps, and Q&A) at the top of the page that allows users to explore the different areas of the website. The Latest & Greatest are curated lists of the most recent evidence for a given topic and a list of the past 12 months’ most viewed articles. Evidence Maps and Q&A are currently in beta and discussed later in this review. Along the top of the toolbar navigation, there are options to sign up for an account and follow via social media links. Registering for an account allows the Trip database to keep a record of your activity, store articles for later reading, and send new research based upon the clinical specialty selected when registering for an account. New features based upon individual search history will be used to make future enhancements to the Trip database.
The search results page is organized with the results in the middle of the page and filters on the right side. If too many results are retrieved, an information grey area appears at the top of the results screen with suggestions to refine your search, including additional search terms and restricting by types of evidence. Trip has a unique user-friendly color-coding system for each evidence type, based on the well-known evidence pyramid. Sources and source types are clearly labeled. Guidelines are broken down by country of origin. The results can be sorted by quality, date, relevance, and popularity. The search algorithm ranks the results based upon the research quality, date, and a text score. A Cochrane Systematic Review is high-quality research and will be scored higher than a BJM article, which will be higher than a textbook. Relevance looks at how many times and where the search appears in the text and newer articles have a higher score.2 Results can be exported to CVS or RIS files. Also, an option is available for email alerts. Full-text links are provided for results in PubMed Central and other sites that provide open access to the full text. Institutions can also register for free, which allows Trip to access the institutions’ full-text holdings via OpenURL linking.
New and beta features include the Q&A area and Evidence Maps. Q&A is offered in the results area if you are not finding the answers you seek. A box appears that suggests asking your question to the Trip community of user experts. The Q&A area of Trip allows you to see all questions you have asked, as well as unanswered questions. Evidence Maps is an experimental evidence mapping system that uses machine learning and natural language processes to map interventions that have been used with the same conditions. The Trip database warns that results in the evidence maps must be evaluated with appropriate skepticism.3
Trip has two service models: Trip, and Trip Pro. Trip Pro offers more search options, functionality, and content and is free of advertisements. Images and videos are also included in the Pro version. Subscriptions are available for individuals and institutions. An individual subscription price is $55. Institutional pricing is based on the type and size of the institution. Types include academic institutions, hospitals/health centers, government/other public sectors, and corporations. Prices range from $340 to $13,000. A nicely formatted chart clearly outlines the features available through Trip, Trip Pro, and Trip Pro Institutional.4
Trip’s motto, “find evidence fast,” delivers in its ability to find relevant evidence for clinical decision making and learning. The unique feature of Trip is evidence-based, quality-ranked content, which makes sense to users and practitioners of evidence-based practice. The color-coded findings allow users to quickly analyze their results to find the best available evidence for the given information needs.
1. Trip Database Blog. (2017, Oct 13). Boolean, truncation and other such things. Retrieved from https://blog.Tripdatabase.com/2017/10/13/boolean-truncation-and-other-such-things/
2. Trip. (2020). How the algorithm works. Retrieved from https://www.tripdatabase.com/about#s3
3. Trip. (2020). Evidence Maps. Retrieved from https://tripdatabase.com/evidencemaps/search
4. Trip. (2020). You’re one step away from becoming a Pro user. Retrieved from https://www.Tripdatabase.com/account/upgrade