Inspec is a major indexing database of scientific and technical literature, published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), and formerly by the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), one of the IET's forerunners.
|Producer||Institution of Engineering and Technology (United Kingdom)|
|Providers||Inspec Direct, Datastar, Dialog, EBSCO Publishing, Elsevier, WTI-Frankfurt, Thomson Innovation, Web of Science, Ovid, Questel.Orbit, STN|
|Disciplines||Physics, Computer science, Mechanical engineering, Electrical engineering, Electronic engineering, Communications, Control engineering, Information technology, Manufacturing, Mechanical engineering|
|Record depth||Index & abstract|
|Format coverage||Journal articles, Standards, Patents, Thesis and Conference proceedings|
|No. of records||Over 17,000,000 and growing|
Inspec coverage is extensive in the fields of physics, computing, control, and engineering. Its subject coverage includes astronomy, electronics, communications, computers and computing, computer science, control engineering, electrical engineering, information technology, physics, manufacturing, production and mechanical engineering. Now, due to emerging concept of technology for business, Inspec also includes information technology for business in its portfolio. Inspec indexed few journals publishing high quality research by integrating technology into management, economics and social sciences domains. The sample journals include Annual Review of Financial Economics, Aslib Journal of Information Management, Australian Journal of Management and, International Journal of Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
Inspec was started in 1967 as an outgrowth of the Science Abstracts service. The electronic records were distributed on magnetic tape. In the 1980s, it was available in the U.S. through the Knowledge Index, a low-priced dial-up version of the Dialog service for individual users, which made it popular. For nearly 50 years, the IET has employed scientists to manually review items to be included in Inspec, hand-indexing the literature using their own expertise of the subject area and make a judgement call about which terms and classification codes should be applied. Thanks to this work, a significant thesaurus has been developed which enables content to be indexed far more accurately and in context, which in turn helps end-users discover relevant literature that may otherwise have remained hidden from typical search queries, making Inspec an essential tool for prior art, patentability searches and patent drafting.
Access to Inspec is currently by the Internet through Inspec Direct and various resellers.