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Institution of Engineering and Technology, Inspec, Web of Science, Engineering Village, Database comparison


Purpose – As library budgets continue to constrict, librarians will need to become more familiar with comparing database host platforms. This paper aims to compare Inspec on Elsevier’s Engineering Village (EV) and Clarivate’s Web of Science (WOS) from a novice user experience. The main objectives are to identify some R1 institutions that subscribe to Inspec and highlight some of the key differences between the two platforms. Design/methodology/approach – Information on Inspec was gathered from various sources as well as the home website, IET, and the host platform websites of Elsevier and Clarivate Analytics. Data was also collected from brochures and guides to help illustrate some of the main features and differences that novice users would be familiar with. Findings – Most institutions subscribe to Inspec via the Engineering Village platform. Results from the study conclude that Engineering Village was selected over Web of Science for hosting Inspec due to a more user-friendly interface, potential lower cost, and faster platform updates, in response to meeting user needs. Originality/Value – Much of the literature focuses on the unfamiliar details and not so much on the novice user. This paper provides a unique perspective in how a novice user would prefer the attributes of one host platform from the other. Additionally, the same review criteria can be applied in other subjects and disciplines.


This is an Author Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Emerald Insight in Reference Services Review in March 2020, available online very soon.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License