The annual INSPIRE Topcites list provides a snapshot of the topics that were of greatest interest in a given calendar year. To maintain the focus on HEP, we construct the list by considering only citations from core papers. To be complete, we also provide individual Topcite lists for each arXiv category we cover.

Continuing a recent trend, the 2015 Top 40 list is virtually unchanged from the previous year, save for a little re-shuffling in the middle order and the quantum fluctuations of classic papers near the bottom. The leading five papers from 2014 securely held their positions, with almost 150 citations separating Maldacena’s 1997 AdS/CFT paper at number [5] from this year’s number [6] paper, the 2002 GEANT4 description paper (which itself was seventh last year).

The first new paper on the list appears at number [7], a Planck paper on cosmological parameters that updates the results of a 2013 Planck paper [3]. Since its posting in February 2015 this paper has collected over 700 citations and brings to four the total number of Planck papers on the list, including another February 2015 paper on inflation [27] which, again, updates a 2013 paper [30].

At number [15] we have the second paper making its debut, a 2014 descendant of the 2011 MadGraph5 paper [16], describing a software package for automatically calculating cross sections at next-to-leading order.

Of the papers on the list submitted to arXiv.org, 11 were from hep-ph, 4 from hep-th, the 2 Higgs discovery papers were, of course, from hep-ex and 10 were from astro-ph (8 from astro-ph.CO and the two 1998 supernova papers [10, 13] that would have been in astro-ph.CO if this subcategory had existed when they were written). The astro-ph papers are all observational, so we see a roughly equal number of theoretical and “experimental” papers. The classic papers from before the digital age, however, are all theoretical works on particle physics and cosmology that have been summoned to the list by recent research and discovery. Interestingly, the charts of their annual citation counts all show an impressively upward trajectory:

[39] | [37] | [33] | [32] | ||||

[31] | [26] | [20] | [23] |

suggesting a strong showing by them in future topcite lists.

– Heath O’Connell (Fermilab)