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Inspec: 2000s


By mid-2001, Inspec had reached seven million records.

Customers were able to search Inspec on a growing number of vendor platforms. ScienceDirect started hosting Inspec in 2001, followed by Web of Knowledge and EBSCOhost in 2002.

The Inspec Current Awareness products were repackaged in 2003.

Three new products were launched to replace the SDI and Topics services: Inspec Alerts; Custom Alerts; and Subject Spotlights.

Each provides a weekly email notification of the latest abstracts on a given subject to be loaded on Inspec.


Late 2003 saw the addition of a new section to the database.

Section E contained records relating to manufacturing and production engineering. this involved creating 100 new classification codes; 650 new manufacturing-oriented index terms; and the scanning of over 200 extra journals.

At the same time as the launch of section E, some new enhancements to the database were released, including the data in XML format.

The international nature of the Inspec customer base was given further recognition in September 2003 with the opening of a regional sales office in Hong Kong.

The office was headed by Thomas Yi and provided more local support to the countries in the Asia Pacific region.


In 2004, the original Science Abstracts print journals became available electronically, following the digitisation of all 873,700 original abstracts.

The new 1898 - 1968 Inspec Archive file provided a fascinating insight into some of the original material.

For the first time, a researcher could sit at their computer and seamlessly search the records of the scientific discoveries shown in both Science Abstracts and the Inspec database for over a hundred years.

Summer 2005 saw Inspec certified to the latest version of the ISO9001 quality standard for its production system.

The accreditation covered the processes from when the primary content was first entered onto the production system, through indexing, to final delivery to the customer.

The Inspec database was now growing substantially each year to keep pace with the increase in scientific literature, and the nine millionth record followed just two years after the eight millionth in 2006.


In 2008, Inspec completely redesigned the Inspec Web platform.

Inspec Direct incorporates leading web technology and search software to bring customers a new level of searching.

As well as access to the full Inspec database, it offers such features as personalisation; usage statistics; and meta searching compatibility.

The product offers both individual and organisational subscriptions, thus making Inspec accessible to more researchers than ever before and well prepared to go into the 21st Century.


Inspec celebrated its 40th (ruby) anniversary in 2009.

The IET website showcased some of Inspec's 'ruby authors' - researchers whose papers had been indexed in 1969 and who were still being published 40 years later.

They were invited to talk about how their area of research had developed over the decades.

Staff members who had worked for Inspec in the early years were also invited to share their memories of Inspec.