History of Inspec in the post-war years: 1946-1959

During the immediate post-war years, the editors were faced with a massive backlog of foreign material which they had hoped to cover by the end of 1946. 

This time limit proved too optimistic and the retrospective abstracting, impeded by paper shortages, continued for several more years.

The international aspect of the Journal was recognised in 1950 by UNESCO which together with the endorsement of the International Abstracting Board of ICSU (International Council of Scientific Unions), led to the appointment of Science Abstracts as the officially recognised English language abstracting journal in Physics.

The 1950s became a time of having to cope with the increasing amount of literature in the established subject fields and also the rapid development of newly active areas such as electronics and solid state physics. In 1956, owing to a shortage of compositors at Unwin Brothers, the current printers, it was decided to produce the abstracts journals in-house using typewriter composition and photolithographic reproduction. This method lasted until the 1960s when Unwins undertook the printing again.

One of the most famous of Science Abstracts' editors was Sir Arthur C. Clarke, better known as a world famous as a science fiction author, underwater explorer, predictor and instigator of advanced technical developments. He worked as an assistant editor of Physics Abstracts in 1949. A short account of his time with the IEE is given on the memoirs of the Science Abstracts and Inspec editorial staff page.

Continue with the history of Science Abstracts.