Ever wanted to just cut and paste a reference from a paper in INSPIRE and find the corresponding paper? We have worked hard to try to make this possible. You have two ways to do it:

rawref1Note that you must put your search in quotations when using rawref. However, you can omit the year when searching this way, e.g. find rawref “JHEP 1202 068″. Correct spacing is also not necessary, thus rawref:”Phys. Rev. D 90 064027″ and rawref:”Phys.Rev. D90 064027″ will yield the same result.

Any journal name variant listed in INSPIRE will work with rawref. You can find these variants by searching for a journal name in the Journal section of INSPIRE. Click the name for the detailed record, and then click the link for “Show name variants”.

namevariantsJournal record for Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research

Rawref:”Nucl.Instrum.Meth. A584 (2008) 75″, rawref:”Nucl. Inst. and Meth. Phys. Res. A584 (2008) 75″, and rawref:”NIM A584 (2008) 75″ are all valid searches.

If you just paste a reference in the search bar without ‘find rawref’, INSPIRE-HEP will try to guess what paper you are looking for.

journalhintJHEP 1202 (2012) 068

 Please contact us at feedback@inspirehep.net if you have any comments or suggestions for improving INSPIRE.

Usually we add DOIs and update INSPIRE to reflect the fact that articles are published within a few weeks of publication. This information is taken from feeds INSPIRE receives from publishers. We try to find the corresponding preprint in a semi-automatic way and add the publication information. Sometimes this process is delayed or fails. If after waiting patiently for updates you do believe there is a failure in the process, please let us know, as other articles might be affected as well.

But did you know that the quickest way to add a DOI and journal publication information to preprints in INSPIRE is to update them in arXiv? While this may seem like an indirect method, authors have direct control over their papers on arXiv (via paper password) and can easily augment information there in an authenticated way. INSPIRE automatically receives these updates within just a day or two. This can be done at any time, and adding the publication information on arXiv does not result in a new version either in arXiv or in INSPIRE.

Once you’ve logged in at arXiv, click the Journal ref symbol beside the papers you’d like to update.


This will take you to a page where you can enter the relevant information.


More information on how to do this can be found at the arXiv help page on the topic.

Doing this on arXiv has several advantages. Information updated on arXiv will flow to other services as well, whereas information added to INSPIRE currently doesn’t propagate yet. While arXiv can process such requests automatically due to the login, it requires manual intervention at INSPIRE and hence it may take more time for the updates to appear. If you have any comments or questions on this topic, drop us a line at feedback@inspirehep.net.

As mentioned before, we have started re-designing INSPIRE and your feedback is proving to be precious! Our colleague Robin Colignon will share his thoughts about the importance of usability and how we are using it to improve INSPIRE.

Why is usability important?

If a website is too hard to understand, difficult to use, or the information is not arranged in a logical manner, most of the users feel frustrated and eventually leave and never come back.

Usability concepts cover both the ease of use and learnability of any human-made object, such as a website. Considering usability allows developers and designers to create easy-to-understand interfaces, provide well-organized information, and increase the users’ effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction.

If you have questions concerning usability, the following website will provide you further information: http://www.usability.gov.

INSPIRE’s new home page

Information architecture tackles the structural design of shared information environments to support findability and usability. Thus, the new information achitecture for INSPIRE focuses on the core functionalities and the content provided.

But before re-designing it we have to understand which ones are the most valuable features for our users; the best way to obtain such information is to ask the community directly.

We ran card sorting tests with our volunteer users, where they could organize the current content of INSPIRE as they thought they should be categorized, highlighted, or excluded. Every tester could group the cards according to their own preferences and provide new names and descriptions.




These insights enlightened us and helped us create a first design interface that takes your needs and requests into account.

Have a look at our first proposal. The mock-up shows how the home page could look like:


This is just a small teaser! We will be running lots of user tests during our re-design. If you are interested, come back in a few weeks to discover more or join us as a tester. We will be happy to share this experience with you! Contact us at

Robin Colignon is an expert in UX/UI working on the re-design of INSPIRE. He graduated in Information System and Services Science and in Computer Science from the Université de Genève. His interests include user-centered design and interfaces.

Have you ever wanted to search by country of author affiliation in INSPIRE? It can be very helpful to filter laboratories or researchers based in a particular location or to extract your own statistics. We have reintroduced the country search capability, following the SPIRES’ syntax, to enable such queries when an author affiliation is present.

Check these examples; the syntax works using both the country name and the Internet country code:

You can, of course, use it as part of more advanced queries. For example, to find how many experimental papers with Chinese contribution were published in 2013:

And finally, as we know you love statistics as much as we do, these are the most common countries in INSPIRE (extracted the 7th Aug 2014):

After months of hard work on improving our author profile pages, we are happy to present the new design and features and to answer the most important questions you might have about the new pages.

How do I get to the author pages?

Author profiles are interlaced with all the content in INSPIRE, thus you can find them in different ways:

  • Using the HepNames collection and click the author profile link. However, if after clicking Author Profile you land on the Person Search page instead, you will be presented with a choice of authors.  Pick the best match and click “Publication List”.
  • Using the HEP collection, click on any author’s name.
  • If you are already browsing an author profile page, you can find others by using the search bar in the top right corner.

What’s new?

As a regular user, the first thing you will notice is that the information appears now re-organized. It is displayed in three main columns: personal information, publications and output, and stats. We think this reflects the feedback we got from you in our usability testing sessions in the best possible way. The layout will adjust to your screen size automatically so you might not always see the three column structure.

In the publications box, you will find more material integrated: data sets and other publications, even outside INSPIRE’s scope! In this way your profile is more complete and reflects your research activities better.

We also changed the layout of the “Personal details” box. Your field, experiments, and institutions are now arranged in an easy-to-read and easy-to-update style.

So… have a look!

new author page

Where does the information on my profile page come from?

The profile is built by an algorithm that extracts information from the papers assigned to the profile. However, all personal information is curated by our staff. We want to keep it accurate! You can always help us by providing more information about yourself or your publications.

What if my personal information box is empty?

If your author profile is not yet linked to a record in our person database, the personal information box will look like this.


You can either select the best match or, if none of the suggested records fit or you don’t get a suggestion at all, you can create a new record.

If, by mistake, your author profile is connected to the wrong person record, send an email to authors@inspirehep.net and our staff will fix it manually for you.

How can I edit my profile?

The “Manage profile” page allows you to merge profiles, connect to ORCID, manage your personal information, and contact us for help if you should get stuck and our help pages don’t get you any further.

Click “Manage Profile” below your name on the author page. After logging in with your arXiv account you can get it linked with your author profile in INSPIRE (you just have to do it once, of course). If you don’t have an arXiv account, you can also proceed as a guest. In that case, an INSPIRE staff member will have to approve your input, which may take longer to appear.

But what about…?

For every question not yet answered, feel free to ask it as a comment here or share it with us at feedback@inspirehep.net. We’re always interested in suggestions on how to improve INSPIRE. If you are interested in being a tester to give us feedback in usability sessions, we would welcome your participation.

Those of you following us on Twitter have already seen that the INSPIRE team contributed to this year’s Open Repository conference in Helsinki.

We were there to share our experience and features with other state of the art services. Also, we took advantage of the event to discover other services that could provide further content to INSPIRE, so we can provide you with a complete picture of your research.


This year, a big part of the presentations focused on data. DOIs for citable data are already a reality in many disciplines. But, as it turned out, it looks like INSPIRE is one of the very few around that can actually track citations to data. Have a look at one example of data reuse and citation tracking in INSPIRE.

ORCID iDs were another important topic during the conference. Many systems, from data repositories to publishers, are integrating them as author identifiers. They enable you to connect your research globally, import and export your publication list, independently of the backend used by each platform.

On INSPIRE, you can link your ORCID with your author profile. This will help us to discover your publications in other fields (e.g. condensed matter or mathematics) and enrich your profile. During the conference, we also presented a preview of our new author pages. They will be deployed next week, stay tuned!
Finally, during the dedicated Invenio session (the software INSPIRE is built on), we presented a first sneak peek of the INSPIRE Labs website. With a brand new modern design, we will use it to test many of the new features coming to INSPIRE. Let us know at usability-testing@inspirehep.net if you want to become an INSPIRE tester and start experimenting with them very soon!

The INSPIRE Advisory Board meets once a year to hear about progress in the services and feedback from the user community. We recently took stock of progress in our service, its hardware, software, and the new areas we are starting to focus on.

Our Advisory Board counts seven experimental and theoretical physicists from the participating laboratories and the community at large, plus the manager of our sister service NASA Astrophysics Data System. The 2014 meeting took place at Fermilab in May. INSPIRE staff from the five participating laboratories (CERN, DESY, IHEP, Fermilab and SLAC) presented to the Advisory Board an extensive overview of the team’s work during the previous year, along with current challenges and future directions. Among the topics were the organization of our service, the user feedback, the content selection and processing.

The meeting of the INSPIRE Advisory Board is a great opportunity for the INSPIRE team to reflect on the last year’s achievement. We are proud to share some highlights with our entire user community:

  • We made extensive operational improvements to the INSPIRE infrastructure, including new hardware and architecture, major refactoring of the INSPIRE code base, and significant process improvements. While invisible to users, these improvements ensure continuing speed and reliability and allow us to prepare for future development.
  • We mused about future directions for the design of INSPIRE and how to bring together our classic search experience with interaction design and modern web design standards, especially for new services such as author profiles and a more efficient submission of corrections and feedback.
  • We realized how much effort we were able to devote to support open research data. In addition to helping make the ATLAS Higgs likelihood available in a citable way, we also started to link papers to code from GitHub, and integrated third-party data repositories.
  • We reviewed all new content we have been adding to INSPIRE: daily upload of the LHC experimental notes CMS-PAS, ATLAS-CONF, and LHCb-CONF, increased coverage of nuclear physics, and the upload of the PDFs of approximately 10,000 relevant articles from Proceedings of Science, which are now searcheable.
  • We invested additional resources to meet expectations of a timely update of references, authors, and other information of articles we receive from arXiv and beyond. Parts of this process are still manual. During the last year we cleared over 10,000 existing tasks. Our ongoing backlog is now around 1,500 tasks, the lowest in several years. It usually takes us between a day and less than a month to process these tasks.
  • The meeting was an ideal opportunity to welcome IHEP as a new member of the INSPIRE collaboration.

The meeting was an enjoyable, lively exchange, providing lots of food for thought as INSPIRE moves forward.

During the course of our conversations, John Beacom, Advisory Board member, was “impressed with the significant efficiency gains for internal processes and author disambiguation, and strongly encourages further co-operation with ADS to improve coverage of astrophysics and cosmology.”

Our recent efforts in handling experimental data within INSPIRE are being appreciated by the Advisory Board. Kyle Cranmer remarked that “data and code are becoming increasingly important as research products, treating them as first class citizens within INSPIRE is an exciting new direction for the field.” Michelangelo Mangano was “impressed by the rapid response of the INSPIRE team to all suggestions from the community and the Advisory Board, and look[s] forward to continued progress in streamlining the access to the experimental data, also in cooperation with the HEPdata project.”

The INSPIRE Advisory Board is an invaluable source of insight and a trusted representative of the community we serve. Its input, together with the hundreds of e-mails and suggestions we receive from our community make sure that INSPIRE stays true to its course: to be an indispensable service for the High Energy Physics community worldwide.

The INSPIRE team is excited to announce that the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IHEP) has joined the INSPIRE collaboration. IHEP is the fifth laboratory to contribute to this global effort at the service of the worldwide High-Energy Physics community, alongside CERN, DESY, Fermilab and SLAC.

This new partnership is an exciting step in the way our services have evolved over the last four decades. The INSPIRE predecessor, SPIRES, started in the ‘70s as a High-Energy Physics publication database, jointly operated by SLAC and DESY. From a dissemination of printed lists of pre-prints and articles, SPIRES then was searchable by email and became the first website in North America and first database accessible through the World Wide Web in 1991. Having started supporting the effort in the ‘90s, Fermilab fully joined the team in the early 2000s. As of 2007, with the arrival of CERN, the INSPIRE collaboration was born. A fully new infrastructure and augmented services were launched in 2010, replacing SPIRES with the modern INSPIRE. As High-Energy Physics is becoming truly global, with stronger and stronger collaborations across the three regions, IHEP becomes the first Asian member to join the INSPIRE collaboration.

As the most prestigious research center of particle physics, advanced accelerator physics and technologies, and radiation technologies and application in China, IHEP both supports established scientists and nourishes young talents ever since its establishment. With decades of development, IHEP is now one of the leading scientific research centers in the world. The information services department of IHEP plays a crucial role in collecting, curating and providing scientific information for researchers in China. A leader in global collaboration in China, in 1994 IHEP became the first institution in the country to have a fully operational world-wide Internet connection. IHEP led the way for other Chinese scientific institutes in using advanced information technology and making scholarly works publicly available to the global community. These achievements resonate with the mission of INSPIRE: to create a community based information system that supports scholarly communication.

Under strong support from IHEP and the other four laboratories, on May 8th Runsheng Yu of the IHEP information services department visited Fermilab to speak at the INSPIRE Advisory Board meeting. He outlined IHEP’s plans to contribute to INSPIRE, and we expect to see great improvements in the disambiguation of Chinese physicists’ names both at their home institute and worldwide. IHEP is working hard to enhance Chinese HEPNames records, which will make it much easier to differentiate Chinese authors from one another and give them the recognition they deserve. This work must be done by hand in order to ensure the accuracy of the information in the database.

We look forward to a long and harmonious collaboration with IHEP, and are excited to be reaching further out to the HEP community worldwide with our first partner in Asia.
Collaborative post by Xiaoli Chen and Melissa Clegg
Did you know that INSPIRE has a tool that generates a complete and properly ordered bibliography from the references you cite in your LaTeX file? With this tool you can also easily convert a LaTeX reference list to BibTeX format. Just be sure to use one of these forms for each of your citations:

  1. INSPIRE Texkeys, e.g. cite{Beacom:2010kk}
  2. Eprint numbers, e.g. cite{1004.3311} or cite{hep-th/9711200}
  3. Journal references, e.g. cite{Phys.Rev.D66.10001}

Then you can upload your LaTeX file here and you will receive the list of the references in the order they are cited in your paper. The system will understand cite fields with multiple papers such as cite{Beacom:2010kk, hep-th/9711200}. But note that if you combine multiple papers under a single texkey, only the one belonging to the texkey will show up.  When you upload the file, you can choose either LaTeX or BibTeX as the output. Remember to reorder your references if you edit the file, or simply resubmit to us.

If you would like to convert your LaTeX bibliography to  BibTeX, simply change “%cite” to “cite” in the file and upload it to the same form with BibTeX as the output.

More detailed instructions can be found here. We hope this takes some of the hassle out of creating reference lists. If you encounter difficulties or have more suggestions, let us know via feedback@inspirehep.net.

Have you noticed something new about Proceedings of Science articles on INSPIRE-HEP? All of these records now have their fulltexts uploaded with searchable pdfs and references extracted. That’s over 10,000 articles!


Because PoS, which is organized by the International School for Advanced Studies based in Trieste, Italy (SISSA), is an Open Access proceedings collection, INSPIRE is free to distribute its content to all users. You can find out more about PoS from its website: http://pos.sissa.it/POSwhat.html

The field of HEP is making some big moves in the direction of Open Access this year. Keep an eye out for even more fulltext content on INSPIRE in the near future.

Are you still learning how to search in INSPIRE? Here are three ways to take a look at the PoS records we have:

  • In Journals, search for Proceedings of Science orpos.


    Click on the journal title, and then click the link for “Articles in HEP”.


  • Using SPIRES-style searching type find j pos in the simple search (default search) box.


  • Using Invenio-style searching type journal:pos in the simple search box.


More tips for searching in specific journals can be found here: https://inspirehep.net/help/search-tips#journals