A colleague mentioned today that the front page of the venerable SPIRES database of High Energy Physics papers is now promoting the new Inspire interface which was announced a few years ago.
The website for the current beta phase of the project is http://inspirebeta.net.
It is unclear to me whether “Beta” is part of the site name, as suggested by the URL and the text on the INSPIRE page, or whether this is just the beta phase of the INSPIRE project as the SPIRES homepage seems to imply. It would certainly be an odd decision to use a different URL for the beta phase and force everyone to change bookmarks, references in blogs, literature etc., once the beta phase is over.
These are quick first impressions because I haven’t had much time to use the new service. First off it is fast. Very fast. So fast that when searching for my name INSPIRE claims that the “Search took 0.00 seconds”. It feels almost instantaneous. This might be because of a light load before the hordes using SPIRES are switched over. It is certainly an improvement on the interminable and often futile stretches of time needed with the SPIRES engine.