IET Inspec database reaches milestone 20 million total records

The Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Inspec database has reached over 20 million indexed records throughout its 50-year history.

Since Inspec’s launch in 1969, it has become a definitive database for subject-specific and interdisciplinary research in the fields of engineering, physics and computer science.

As the role of scholarly communications has evolved over time, the innovation that inspired the creation of the original Inspec is still in force. Owing to its rigorous content selection and the precision and accuracy of its indexing, Inspec ensures that trustworthy content is easily discoverable to a global audience of research universities, corporate research teams, governments and patent offices.

Vincent Cassidy, Head of Academic Markets for the IET, said: “As we mark the milestone of reaching 20 million records in Inspec, we’d like to thank our customers, many of whom have been with Inspec since its inception, for their continued support and feedback to help us develop and refine our product to ensure that we continue to serve the needs of the engineering and technology research community.

“We’d also like to thank the Inspec team; those who select and curate content, our indexers who review every individual record and everyone that supports the technical processes and development that allow our users to easily locate the specific research that is important to them. Their collective work over the last 50 years and their commitment to quality content and precision indexing is a legacy that has endured from the first item indexed to this most recent.”

Inspec is ISO 9001:2015 certified, an international standard dedicated to quality management systems, for the quality of its production process. Inspec carefully classifies content using 5-levels of subject classification codes. Each record in Inspec is indexed by subject specialists using over 3,500 subject classifications and nearly 10,000 controlled terms. This level of sophisticated indexing not only ensures users can easily navigate content to find relevant literature quickly, but forms the basis of the IET’s analytics tool that was launched in 2018, Inspec Analytics. Combining this in-depth indexing capability with the latest in semantic technologies enabled the development of the vast Inspec Analytics knowledge graph, connecting millions of data points to provide precision analytics for research excellence.

Over the decades, Inspec has evolved and provided new solutions to remain an essential discovery tool. Some developments over the years include using a computerised production system in 1969; going online in 1973; introducing chemical and numerical data indexing in 1987; reprocessing the whole database in Standard Generalised Markup Language (SGML) format in 1998; digitising over 870,000 abstracts for the Inspec Archive in 2004; and most recently launching the Inspec Analytics research intelligence tool in 2018. Throughout many advancements, Inspec continues providing users with easily discoverable, trustworthy content to give research a comprehensive edge.

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