Inspec Direct

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Inspec is available directly from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) via the Inspec Direct service. Launched in February 2008, Inspec Direct provides “a powerful precision research tool with highly sophisticated support functionality that allows users to analyze, store and communicate their findings.”[1]

Inspec Direct includes access to both Inspec (1969-date) and Inspec Archive (1898-1968). Users also can access the Inspec Thesaurus through Inspec Direct.[2]

Use and Features

The thesaurus in Inspec Direct is located under the section Search Aids. Users can search the thesaurus, search Inspec classifications, browse classifications, or view journal details under the Search Aids section. When searching the thesaurus, users can enter a word, phrase, or classification code as a search term. When a user selects to view the full thesaurus term, they are shown top terms, broader terms, "Used for" notes and definitions, prior terms, date of input into the thesaurus, narrower terms, related terms, and related classifications.

The Inspec Thesaurus is available through a graphical interface in Inspec Direct.

Users have access to three search forms through Inspec Direct:[3]

  • Quick search - Allows the user to enter words and phrases into a text box. Boolean logic is automatically applied, and the quick form searches the Basic Index (Title, Abstract, Controlled and Uncontrolled Terms).[4]
  • Advanced search - Allows the user to perform complex searches using keyword search and browsing in specific fields, using Boolean operators, truncation, refine search, setting limit parameters and sorting results. Users select fields from a drop-down menu of available fields and enter search terms in a corresponding text box. The text boxes are combined by Boolean operators (chosen through a drop down menu), and additional text boxes can be added by selecting "Add Criteria." Users can also browse available field-specific indexes by selecting the "browse index" button beside the text boxes. A list of search tips and field-specific codes are available in a menu on the right side of the screen.

The Advanced form allows users to search in multiple fields and utilize limiters.

  • Expert search - Command language for expert searchers that allows a high degree of search sophistication and flexibility. Users can browse field-specific indexes and add terms to the query by selecting terms in the index. Users are also aided by the search tips and field-specific codes listed in the right side menu. Finally, users have the same limiting and sorting options available in the Expert search as those available in the Advanced search.

The Expert form allows users to enter their query through a command line interface, and limiters are also available to narrow the search.

Features of Inspec Direct include:[3]

  • Browse indexes - Available in both Advanced and Expert search forms. users can browse field-specific indexes in order to view available author names, journal titles, publisher names, etc. Terms selected from the indexes can be inserted directly into the search query.
  • Limit searches - Available in both Advanced and Expert search forms. Limit searches by a wide variety of fields including publication date, document type, treatment code, subject area, language and only those articles that are available online.
  • Full-text links - For all articles for which a DOI (Digital Object identifier) has been assigned. A "full text" icon appears below available articles in the search results, and selecting the icon will take the user to an outside website where the full text is available. Full text documents may need to be purchased form the third-party sites.
  • Saved search history - Users can view their past search queries, displayed above the search results list. These queries can be saved, turned into alerts, and refined.
  • Alerts - The latest records can be sent to you via e-mail or RSS. Alerts are created by selecting the "save" icon in the Search History list beside a relevant search query. Users can then name the saved search, select the frequency and contents of the alert, and set up RSS feeds by going to the Saved Searches section under the My Searches tab.

Users can save and edit their past searches, which are viewable above the search results list.


  1. "The IET Launches Inspec Direct." February, 2008. IET website, Accessed on September 17, 2008.
  2. "Content, coverage and indexing." IET Inspec Direct website, Accessed June 14, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Features and Functionality." IET Inspec Direct website, Accessed June 14, 2011.
  4. "'Search For' text box." Inspec help box, Accessed June 27, 2011.

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