Quick Guide to INSPEC

INSPEC is the electronic version of Physics Abstracts, Electrical & Electronics Abstracts and Computer & Control Abstracts. It provides comprehensive coverage of the world's research literature in physics, astronomy, electrical engineering, electronics and computer science. INSPEC indexes over 4,000 journals and 1,000 conferences plus reports, dissertations and books. It is updated weekly, adding about 350,000 new records per year. Coverage goes back to 1898. You can access INSPEC directly http://uclibs.org/PID/22771 (http://uclibs.org/PID/22771) or from the PSE Library catalogs and databases page).


There are three search modes available in Ovid: Basic, Advanced and Fields Searching. You can navigate between the modes using the menu near the top of the screen.

OVID Menu Bar

The system defaults to the advanced search, providing you with one search box and a few limiting options.

Advanced Search Options

You can use this box to enter your keywords and phrases. Multiple keywords can be combined using Boolean operators (such as AND and OR). Without operators, your keywords will be searched as adjacent. The advanced search allows very sophisticated searches using field tags and parenthetical statements:

(wireless and network$) and davis.in


Author Searching

You can perform author searches in two ways:

  1. Browse author index:
    Click on the Author button then enter last_name then first_initial (e.g., hafez m) to browse an alphabetical index of author names. Check all variations of the name, and then click on the Perform Search button. This method provides the most accurate results.
  2. Search author field:
    Enter last_name then first_initial$.au (e.g., hafez m$.au), then click on the Perform Search button to find all variations of the name.

PLEASE NOTE:Asian and Indian names are sometimes entered in the database as they appear in the original article. It is very important, whether using method 1 or 2 above, to search on the authors given name and surname. For example, the author Jong Tae Park will need to be searched not only under his surname Park, but also under his given name Jong:

  • Method 1, use author browse for park j and then jong t
  • Method 2, search (park j$ or jong t$).au

Subject Searching

You can perform subject searches most effectively through advanced search. Enter your keywords (using Boolean operators as appropriate), and then click on the Perform Search button. For more precise searching, use the Thesaurus. INSPEC utilizes a thesaurus, or mapped scheme of subjects assigned to articles to facilitate subject searching. Click on the Tools button and choose Thesaurus to browse terms in the online thesaurus or simply check the Map Term to Subject Heading box on the main search page to map your search terms to the appropriate subject headings in the thesaurus.


Fields Searching

To search for terms in specific fields, enter the term and field tag separated by a period (e.g., vacuum science.jw). To search in multiple fields, separate the field tags with a comma (e.g., tailings.ti,ab). You can view indexes for any field by clicking on the Search Fields button. Then select the appropriate field, enter your term and click on the Display Index(es) button.

Tag Field Tag Field Tag Field
ab abstract ib ISBN pu publisher
ao astronomical object is ISSN rn report number
au author in institution hw subject heading word
cd CODEN ip issue/part sh subject heading
ch chemical jn journal name ti title
cw classification code word jw journal title word pj translated journal name
cc classification code lg language tr treatment
cf conference information nd numeric data vo volume
ca corporate author pg pagination yr year of publication
ed editor pt publication type

Truncation And Wildcards

You can use truncation and wildcards to find the variant endings and spellings of your terms.

Unlimited truncation ($)
Replaces an unlimited number of characters at the end of your term
(e.g., log$ = log, logs, logging, logarithm, logarithms, etc.)
Limited truncation ($n)
Replaces up to n characters at the end of your term
(e.g., log$1 = log, logs but not logging)
Mandated wildcard (#)
Replaces exactly one character within your term or at the end of it
(e.g., gr#y = gray, grey)
Optional wildcard (?)
Replaces one or no characters within your term or at the end of it
(e.g., model?ing = modeling, modelling)

Combining Searches

Ovid has several operators that allow you to combine multiple search terms into one search:

AND Finds records that contain both your search terms.
OR Finds records that contain at least one of your search terms.
. Finds records that contain your search terms in the specified field.
ADJ Finds records in which your search terms appear next to each other.
NOT Finds records that contain your first search term but not your second.

You can use these operators when entering searches in advanced search. You can also perform several searches then combine them using the Combine screen.

Author combined with keyword search

Here the author groza j$.au (any author with the last name groza, first initial j with or without a middle intial) is searched in combination with any of the keywords powder$ (powder or powders) or grain$ (grain or grains) or sinter$ (sintered or sintering) and limited to English language only, journal articles only and from 1995-2003 only.


Limiting Searches

To refine your searches, you can limit them based on specific criteria. Click on the Limit button to set limits based on language, publication date, publication type, treatment, chemical role or numeric data.


Working With Search Results

Removing Duplicates

When you search article indexes simultaneously, you may get duplicate records for the same article. To eliminate duplicate records, click on the Remove Duplicates button below the Search History table. You can only remove duplicates from search sets of 6,000 or less.

Citation Manager

The citation manager displays at the bottom of every set of search results. The citation manager helps you to display, print and email citations. It also allows you to direct export citations to bibliographic managers such as EndNote or ProCite, or save citations for importing into bibliographic managers later.

Citation Manager Display

Finding Call Numbers and Full-Text

Follow the UC-eLinks Logo option for each record in order to:

  • Link directly to the full-text online when available through library subscription.
  • Check the Melvyl Catalog/Periodicals to see if UCD has it.
  • Request it if UCD does not own it.