INSPEC – YOUR key to Science and Engineering
INSPEC is the world’s leading bibliographic database providing access to the world’s scientific and technical
papers in physics, electrical engineering, electronics, communications, control engineering, computing and information
technology. In addition to these major subject areas, INSPEC also has significant coverage in interdisciplinary areas such as
materials science, oceanography, nuclear engineering, geophysics, biomedical engineering and biophysics.
The INSPEC Database dates back to 1969 and is produced in the UK by the IEE – one of the largest not-for-profit
Engineering Societies in the world. The Database now contains over 7 million records, to which well over 350,000 records are
added every year.
What are the most special features of INSPEC?
INSPEC coverage of all the key subjects is global, and it thus enables you to reach documents published
throughout the world in a wide range of languages. Other features include the following:
- Up-to date information is achieved by weekly updates
- High quality of bibliographic and scientific data is maintained throughout
- DOI and other unique codes continuously increase the number of links to Full Text
- Over 80 search fields enable you to search for many subject and bibliographic data
- Added-value subject fields provide you with powerful search capabilities. These include:
- Extensive Thesaurus – a key to comprehensive and accurate searching
- Powerful Classification scheme – a navigational tool and a key to targeted searching
- Specialised fields for ‘difficult data’ (chemical, numerical, astronomical)
- Research type-oriented Treatment Codes – enable you to limit your search by the type of research that is reported in the
literature (theoretical, experimental, review…)
What benefits can INSPEC bring to YOUR organisation?
INSPEC provides you with up-to-date information in major areas of physics, electronics, communications,
computing, control and information technology, as well as many other interdisciplinary subjects. You can search INSPEC in your
office or laboratory using a personal computer or other terminal and you can choose from a wide range of simple or more advanced
interfaces that cater for experienced librarians and information specialists as well as for end users.
In addition to searching INSPEC for information for your research projects, you can also use the database for
current awareness, literature reviews, state-of-the-art reviews, product reviews, prior art searches, technological forecasting,
patent-related searching and competitive intelligence research.
How can YOU access INSPEC?
The INSPEC Database is available from a large number of Vendors with a variety of pricing options to cater for
both frequent and occasional users. In addition to INSPEC, most of these organisations offer a wide range of other databases
covering other subject areas.
Subscriptions/Site Licence Pricing
Unlimited access to the Database is available either by local loading or remote access through
a number of commercial and other Vendors. Customers have a choice of site licence: data only (tapes/FTP) or data bundled with
software for local loading and online/remote access. Separate pricing applies to corporate/government and academic
For academic sites it is possible to set up a national consortium for access to the INSPEC Database at a
greatly reduced rate. In the Czech Republic, the CVUT/Dialog Consortium has been set up in the year 2000 and this enables all
Czech academic organisations to gain access to the INSPEC Database at this greatly reduced rate.
Simple vs. Advanced Interfaces
When searching INSPEC on your selected Vendor software, your choice of interface can have a substantial effect
on the effectiveness of your searches. Although most of the software systems provide you with an opportunity to select a ‘quick’
or ‘easy’ interface, it is important to remember that most of these simple interfaces do not allow you to make use of some of
the very important Search Aids on INSPEC such as the INSPEC Thesaurus and the INSPEC Classification. The Thesaurus enables you
to explore all the relevant terminology so that you can achieve a comprehensive search; the Classification enables you to
navigate your search to a relevant part of the INSPEC database and thus helps you to make your search much more accurate.
In addition, on many of the simple interfaces, you cannot use Search History, save searches for future use, or
customise the interface. When searching a large database such as INSPEC, your resulting sets can be often very large. That is
another reason why you need to gradually modify your search into a manageable set. Interfaces that enable you to do this can
thus be much ‘friendlier’ than those that look very simple at the start of your search, but then do not allow you to easily
continue or to modify your result.
INSPEC is an excellent source of information in science and engineering. Its thorough indexing enables you to
satisfy your research needs quickly and accurately. However, in order to get the full benefit from the Database, you need to
make full use of the search tools, and these are much more effective on the more advanced interfaces.
Free training is available for INSPEC consortia and other users to enable you to become familiar with all the
INSPEC value-added search fields and the search tools available on YOUR system. These can be tailored for your needs and