E-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship


Date of this Version


Document Type



Journal of Southern Academic and Special Librarianship (October 1999) 1(2). ISSN 1525-321X. Also available at http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/indexv1.html.


Copyright 1999, the authors. Used by permission.


This paper focuses on providing critical evaluation and searching tips for users of the INSPEC database on FirstSearch on the Web. It introduces the idea of records and fields, fields searching to focus a search for effective retrieval, and the use of the Related Headings feature. Also explained is the idea of precision searching using the proximity operators and bound-phrase searching capabilities. Other ways to search for specific types of information (for example, foreign names, reviews, theses and dissertations, and chemical searching) are also presented. We provide practical examples to illustrate the search features using the Basic, Advanced, and Command searching modes.