The large collaborations at the LHC have an unusual intermediate form of publication: the conference note. These are significant results prepared by the collaboration for major international conferences (not to be confused with proceedings written by a conference attendee). They are heavily peer-reviewed within the collaboration, signed by the collaboration as a whole, and often precede submission to a journal. Moreover, these conference notes typically provide more detail than the documents submitted for publication, which makes them particularly valuable to anyone following the research closely.
However, finding these conference notes has confounded almost everyone that has looked for them. They are “catalogued” in a maze of wiki pages, plain HTML pages, and various categories in the CERN document server (CDS). While CDS is based on the same underlying Invenio technology, it lacks much of the functionality that INSPIRE offers. In particular, there has been no way to easily navigate references, track citations, or generate bibliographic information.
This situation improved dramatically when both ATLAS and CMS agreed to put these conference notes into INSPIRE. There are already more than 800 conference notes indexed, with many more to come!
Now, I can easily track citations to a recent conference note on the Higgs decaying to photons; perform a full text search for the word “asymptotic“; and see which ATLAS conference notes have been cited by CERN theorist Christophe Grojean.
As an author of several of these conference notes, I am particularly excited about the ability to generate standard bibliography entries. For example, I can easily export a .bib file for all the 2012 ATLAS conference notes. This will be a huge time savings for the collaborations and a great example of the impact an excellent literature database can have!