Software inspections are reviews of the code with the purpose of detecting defects. In an inspection someone other than the programmer reads a program unit of limited size to determine whether it satisfies the requirements and specification. A formal process and checklist are used to ensure that no aspects are forgotten. Work by Fagan at IBM in the early 70's showed inspections to be very effective. Porter et al. place questions on the effectiveness of inspections in current software development.
Literature and Links
Fagan, Michael; Design and Code Inspections to Reduce Errors in Program Development. IBM Systems Journal, 15(3):182-211, 1976.
Adam Porter, Harvey Siy, and Lawrence Votta. A review of software inspections. In Marvin Zelkowitz, editor, Software Process, volume 42 of Advances in Computers. Academic Press, 1996.