Report:Inspec/Data Coverage/File Structure
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The entirety of the Inspec file is sometimes split into multiple files depending on the database supplier (also known as a non-patent literature tool or source, e.g. Dialog, Ovid, Elsevier’s Engineering Village). Dialog for instance, splits Inspec into 4 files and Ovid splits Inspec into 2 files. It is common for Inspec to be divided into two files: Inspec (with coverage from 1969-date) and Inspec Archive (with coverage from 1898-1968, covering the Science Abstracts). The Inspec Archive is manually re-keyed and includes tables, graphs, and figures from the original source documents in some cases.
It is important for the searcher to realize what dates these individual files cover, so for instance, a searcher is not trying to find a journal article from 1910 in a file that only has data back to 1969. Each individual database supplier may have different coverage of Inspec, so it is important to inquire about what data is actually present. Purchase or access to the individually split-up files may cost additional money, for example.
Inspec has a large coverage of journals and other research related prior art in a wide number of topics, making it a valuable resource. The Science Abstract coverage dating back to 1898 is valuable to searchers looking for hard-to-find references in an older technology area, especially considering the addition of tables, graphs, and figures in some cases. Additionally, users can be sure that the data they are getting from the Inspec Archive era material is accurate, since it is manually re-keyed instead of scanned (which often produces errors). One thing to keep in mind: the searcher needs to make sure that the access tool they are using has coverage for this part of Inspec, sometimes referred to as Inspec Archive. Dialog, ProQuest Dialog and Engineering Village, for example, have access dating back to 1898 but Questel does not.