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New to the Library, part 2: databases and evidence collections

30 Sep 2022

Corinne Hogan

Following the review of our current e-resource subscriptions in 2020-21, a new list of priority subscriptions was compiled, evaluated, trialled and selected. These new e-acquisitions are: Trip Pro and HMIC database. Information on our two new e-book collections and four new e-journals (Journal of Urology, Neurosurgery, Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research and Dental Update) is available here

Trip Pro


Initially Trip stood for Turning Research Into Practice, now they are known just as Trip Pro but this early idea of what they do has remained central to their mission. Trip is a clinical search engine designed to allow users to quickly and easily find and use high-quality research evidence to support their practice and/or care.

Trip has been online since 1997 and in that time has developed into a high quality source of evidence-based content. Their guiding principle is to help the user ‘Find evidence fast’.

As well as research evidence the platform allows clinicians to search across other content types including images, videos, patient information leaflets, educational courses and news.

The Trip Pro filtering system

The way this operates in practice is that the sections and formats of the information are organised into a side bar menu on the left of the screen. The colours of the sections of the menu are coded to allow the user to become familiar with their most used areas and find information quicker by lessening the cognitive load.

Example of TripPro filter types

Above: A typical search in Trip Pro yields many colour coded areas.

Clicking on the content types will filter the information guiding the user to their desired results. Publishers are classified based on their output (e.g. Cochrane are classified in systematic reviews, NEJM as key primary research etc). By clicking on the systematic review filter you restrict the results to just those publishers whose main function is related to systematic reviews. Once you have clicked on a particular category, you can further restrict the results by publisher e.g. to only show Cochrane results.

Trip algorithm

A feature of this e-resource is the design of their algorithm. The algorithm uses three main factors when deciding the position of particular search results:

  • Text score: If a search term is in the title of the document it scores more highly than if it only appears in the body of the text. If it only appears once in a thousand word document it scores less than if it appears twenty times.
  • Publication score: Trip is unique in using a publication score, based on quality, to help order results. So, a high quality resource (such as Cochrane) will have a higher score than say the BMJ and this again will score more highly than an eTextbook.
  • Date: The more recent the document the higher the score.

These three elements are combined to give each document a score. The document with the highest score appears at the top of the results.


It may seem jarring to see adverts with the product. Trip Pro is a commercial company but operates more like a ‘not for profit’ company. Some of their income comes from advertising. The company refers to this as ‘A necessary evil that affects the aesthetics of the site but it does bring in reliable income’.

Feedback from College library staff:

  • TRIP does live up to its motto “find evidence fast”, finding high quality, evidence-based research quickly and effectively.
  • TRIP has a variety of filters that are hard to find elsewhere that make really narrowing down to only relevant articles or the types of articles you need easier. For example, TRIP has a systematic review filter that means you can very quickly see how much and what kind of high quality evidence is out there on your topic (compared to other databases if we want to filter for systematic reviews we have to input a lot more specific search language). You can also filter guidelines by country and it has recently introduced some LMIC filters which make it simpler to find research published in or about LMIC countries.

HMIC database


HMIC stands for the Health Management Information Consortium. The consortium consists of three partners: U.K. Department of Health, Nuffield Institute for Health (Leeds University Library), and the King's Fund Library. This can be searched by selecting it from a drop-down list in the Ovid search page (make sure you are logged-in to the College website before following this link).

Go to the website, scroll down the options to ‘All resources’ then check the box beside ‘HMIC Health Management Information Consortium 1979 to July 2022’.

You can then enter search terms and choose whether to check from two filters: ‘include multimedia’ and ‘include related terms’.

There are further limits on the basic search: abstracts, full text and latest update or for a more nuanced filtered search click on the ‘edit limits’ button which will take you to a different page with more options like date range, language and publication type.

The subject content of the database is Health Administration, Health Policy, Health Systems & Services, Management, Occupational & Environmental Medicine

Years of coverage are:

  • 1979 - present (King's Fund data)
  • 1983 - present (DH data)

Ovid summarises the collections in the following two paragraphs:

DH-Data is the database of the Department of Health's Library and Information Services and contains in excess of 174,000 records relating to health and social care management information. Coverage includes official publications, journal articles and grey literature on: health service policy, management and administration, with an emphasis on the British National Health Service; the quality of health services including hospitals, nursing, primary care and public health; the planning, design, construction and maintenance of health service buildings; occupational health; control and regulation of medicines; medical equipment and supplies; and social care and personal social services. The majority of records are from 1983 onwards, although coverage of departmental materials dates back to 1919. Over a quarter of records have abstracts.

King’s Fund Database holds records of the material in the library of the King's Fund, an independent health charity working to develop and improve the management of health and social care services. This library is open to the public. Its database contains over 70,000 records (1979 to date), mostly with a UK focus, on health management and services, social care, service development, and NHS organisation and administration. Records include books, pamphlets, government reports, abstracts of journal articles and a wide range of 'grey' literature.

Corinne Hogan, Assistant Librarian

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