The 2016 edition of the annual topcites list is still very much dominated by experiment, in particular the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012, with the ATLAS and CMS papers at the [1] and [2] positions as they have been since 2013 (joined by the ATLAS and CMS instrumentation papers [12,13]). Indeed, they have now cracked the top ten of the all time list, where they are the only papers from the 2010s and, together with the 2006 PYTHIA [4] and 2002 GEANT4 [6] papers, the only papers from this century. The ATLAS and CMS collaborations produced a joint paper in 2015 on the Higgs boson mass and it makes its first appearance in the Top Forty this year [32]. The papers from the 1990s on the AdS/CFT correspondence [5,14,20] continue to be strongly represented. A breakthrough paper from 2006 by Ryu and Takayanagi [39], which connects entanglement entropy and Bekenstein-Hawking entropy, has made its first appearance in the Top Forty list as interest grows in the connection between quantum information concepts and quantum gravity. Aside from these papers, all of the theoretical papers in the top twenty are resource papers centered around LHC-relevant simulations [4,6,7,8,9,16,19]. The 21st century simulation codes Sherpa and POWHEG make their first appearance on the Top Forty list this year [35,38] following a long, steady climb in their annual citation rates [2008 paper, 2004 paper]. Away from the LHC-zone, observational cosmology rules the top twenty, with familiar favorites [3,10,15,17,18] and one very important newcomer [11], to which we now turn.

The gravitational wave discovery paper [11] by the LIGO Scientific and Virgo collaborations appeared simultaneously in Physical Review Letters and on in February. By April it had 200 citations and by July 500 citations. In late December Science Magazine named this discovery the Breakthrough of the Year for 2016. So far this seems to have exerted little influence on the rest of the topcite list (though one can detect an uptick in citations of Einstein’s original GR paper and his 1937 paper on gravitational waves). It will be interesting to see what happens in 2017.

The other big news of 2016 was the possible di-photon (or gamma-gamma) excess reported in December of 2015 by ATLAS [24] and CMS [29] in papers that were, unprecedentedly for the Top Forty list, neither arXiv eprints nor journal articles. As a potential signal for New Physics, this precipitated an intense period of research. The observations generated more than 400 theory papers citing the ATLAS and CMS reports. This collection of theory papers acquired a Hirsh index of 92, that is 92 of these citing papers themselves garnered at least 92 citations. Publishing these theory papers was a matter of controversy. JHEP declined for some time to publish any theory paper explaining the resonance; Physical Review Letters chose four to illustrate the ferment in the particle theory community. Finally at the ICHEP conference in Chicago in August it was announced that the signal disappeared when studied in the larger LHC data set accumulated in 2016. In the still-relevant words of Maurice Goldhaber, “not all candidates get elected”.

The remainder of the list includes familiar papers from previous Top Forty lists. On the theory side are more LHC-relevant simulation papers [22,23,25,28,30,31], Hawking radiation [21], inflation [26,34], large extra dimensions [33] and neutrino mixing [37]. The list is rounded out by the first resullts from LUX on dark matter [27] (the final results from LUX appeared in August, too late for this edition) and the update of cosmological parameters from the full WMAP data set [36].

– Heath O’Connell and Michael Peskin.

      一年一度的INSPIRE高被引文章列表INSPIRE Topcites)对上一年度的热点话题提供了概览。为了保证专注于高能物理领域,我们发布的这份列表中仅考虑来自核心文章的被引次数。为了确保覆盖面的广度,我们还针对每一个arXiv的类别给出了高被引文献列表。




      提交至arXiv.org名单上的论文中,有11篇来自hep-ph领域,4 篇来自hep-th,当然,还有两篇发现希格斯的论文是来自hep-ex领域,另外有10 篇来自astro-ph领域(8篇来自astro-ph.CO领域和两篇发表于1998年的关于超新星的文章【1013】,如果这两篇文章撰写的时候有astro-ph.CO的子类别,那么这两篇文章就会被归属于这个类别)。astro-ph类别里都是观测类文章,因此我们能看出理论和“实验性”论文的数量大致相当。发表于数字化时代之前的有关粒子物理和宇宙学的经典论文,却是由于近代的科学研究和发现出现在了高被引文章列表中。有趣的是,从这些文章年度被引用频次的图表中都能看出明显的上升趋势。

[39] [37] [33] [32]
[31] [26] [20] [23]

Read the post in English here.

INSPIRE Matrix of Topcites

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, 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)

Citation metrics are one of the most used features on INSPIRE. We are always looking for ways to enhance the options to search through citations and references.
We introduced three new search terms you can use to refine your search results and exclude self citations:

Note that ‘M.E.Peskin.1’ is an authorID.

If you have more requests for search syntax that might make your life easier, take a look at our search guide and tips and don’t hesitate to contact us at

For more helpful tips and information about our features follow INSPIRE’s blog and tweets.

In the world of topcited papers, 2014 looked a lot like 2013 and not just because the Review of Particle Physics is once again at the top. The effects of 2012’s discovery of the Higgs boson continued to be strongly felt and many of the related papers from the 2013 topcite list appeared again in more or less the same position. Along with the discovery papers themselves [1,2], the original theory papers [34,35] and the detector description papers [17,19], a host of papers relevant to event simulation at the LHC [4,7,9,12,14,20,22,28,31] have featured prominently; interestingly, the PYTHIA paper [4] is now the first paper from the 2000s in the All Time Topcite list. The AdS/CFT papers [5,10,16] and Randall-Sundrum [26] continue their 15+ year run on the Topcite list. Planck [3], WMAP [11,24] and the 1998 supernova cosmology papers [13,15] again represent observational cosmology on the list.

So what was new this year? The March announcement [6] by BICEP2 of the results of a search for inflationary gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background had an immediate impact and the paper had 100 citations within two weeks and 500 by July. This got people thinking about inflation and brought back a number of inflation papers from the 1980s to the topcite list [23,29,36,37] in addition to Guth’s perennial paper [21], which climbed twelve places in the rankings, and the Planck inflation paper [8], which climbed twenty one.

The remaining inductees were the October 2013 LUX constraints on dark matter paper [18] (that joined the similar XENON100 paper [27]) and the March 2013 Planck overview paper [38].

Rounding out the list were the electron antineutrino disappearance papers [30,33], Hawking’s black hole radiation paper [25], the dark energy review of Copeland et al. [32] and Minkowski’s sleeping beauty [39].



-Heath O’Connell

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 if you have any comments or suggestions for improving INSPIRE.

We are pleased to announce the 2013 edition of the Topcites lists.

It comes as no surprise that the Higgs discovery papers sit atop the list of topcited articles in 2013. They appear right after the Review of Particle Properties, of course, which has almost twice as many citations. The descriptions of the ATLAS and CMS detectors follow later in the list. Overall it has been an exciting time in experimental physics these past couple of  years; 7 hep-ex papers, 5 from 2012 and 2 from 2011 appear. In addition to the Higgs papers there are 4 neutrino papers and the Heavy Flavor Averaging Group’s report. Keeping with this trend, the list also includes 6 papers on observational  cosmology and one on the search for dark matter.

On the theoretical side the influence of experiment is strongly felt. The 10 topcited hep-ph papers are largely focused on data analysis and simulation. Along with theses goes the original Randall-Sundrum paper on extra dimensions which has been cited by over 300 CERN and Fermilab experimental papers in its lifetime.

In the world of formal theory, 4 of the 5 hep-th papers are the now classic papers on the AdS/CFT correspondence, newly relevant to heavy ion collisions, and the fifth is a review on dark energy.

The recent discovery at CERN makes the 1964 papers of Higgs, Englert and Brout, which won their authors the Nobel Prize for 2013, appear for the second year in a row. The other papers from before the eprint era cover cosmology, black-hole radiation and neutrino mass (including Minkowski’s sleeping beauty).

The 2013 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to two particle physics theorists – François Englert and Peter W. Higgs today “for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.”

The theorists published their papers independently in 1964 – the first one by François Englert and Robert Brout, and, a month later, a pair of papers by Peter Higgs.

In the graph below you can see the number of citations that each of the papers received yearly since 1964 when they were published, peaking in 2012 with the latest Higgs boson search results.

Click to enlarge the picture

The theories were confirmed on 4th July 2012, by ATLAS and CMS, the two experiments at the LHC that were searching for the new particle. The two collaborations include more than 3000 people each.

The two papers published shortly after the first evidence presented by the experiments, accumulated enormous numbers of citations in just one year.

About a month ago the ATLAS experiment made the datasets behind the likelihood function associated to the Higgs boson property measurements available to the public in digital format. The datasets can be easily accessed on INSPIRE.

More about the Nobel prize in today’s CERN press release.

[A guest post from our power user and advisory board member Kyle Cranmer]

We are familiar with the critical role of INSPIRE in searching for papers, following references, tracking citations, and providing author profiles. Now INSPIRE is taking steps to extend this service to data, thus creating a rich new layer to the information system of high energy physics.

Historically, papers have been the primary means for scientific communication; however, it is common to augment papers with data. The Durham HepData project has hosted this type of data for several years, and since last year, HepData is integrated with INSPIRE. Some papers have several datasets associated to it, so each dataset is given a unique, persistent Digital Object Identifier (DOI). Not only do these DOIs ensure that you can find the data, but they also provide a clear way to cite the data.

Let’s look at an example. Last month, ATLAS took an important step forward and released a digital form of the likelihood function associated to the Higgs boson property measurements. You can find these likelihood functions by clicking on the Data tab of the ATLAS paper. There are three datasets associated to this paper, and each has its own DOI. For instance, the H→γγ likelihood’s DOI is 10.7484/INSPIREHEP.DATA.A78C.HK44. If you click, the DOI will “resolve” to the INSPIRE record for this specific dataset (not the paper). From this record you can:

  • download the data from the “Files” tab
  • check which papers are citing this dataset from the “Citation” tab
  • follow the link to the original paper
  • export a properly formatted citation to the dataset itself

In addition to data coming from HepData, INSPIRE now supports data hosted in other third-party data repositories such as Figshare or The Dataverse Network. To test this out, I put some data from a phenomenological study of the CMSSM onto Dataverse — yes, theorists create data too! In this case, Dataverse issued the persistent identifier to our data since they take on the responsibility to store it. I sent the persistent identifier to INSPIRE and now it shows up in the data tab of our original paper. INSPIRE can now track citations to this data, which is hosted remotely. Nice!

The last example comes from a not-so-high-energy experiment I was involved in called APEX Jefferson Lab, which is searching for evidence of a 5th fundamental force of nature together with similar experiments such as DarkLight, HPS, and MAMI. Unlike the enormous LHC experiments, APEX had 66 collaborators that contributed to the test-run for this small, special-purpose experiment. The results of the test run were published in 2011, and this week the raw mass distribution from those 770,509 events collected by APEX was released directly on INSPIRE.

These three examples illustrate the diversity of data in HEP ranging from low-level experimental data, to theoretical predictions, to the results of statistical analysis. They also demonstrate the richness of the data layer and the need for a robust information system. Looking to the future, we can imagine an extended author profile that includes details on datasets analogous to what we are already have with papers.

Exactly one year ago, on July 4th 2012, ATLAS and CMS presented evidence for a new particle behaving like the long-sought-after Higgs boson.

By the end of the month, two papers from ATLAS and CMS were published describing this discovery. Unsurprisingly, they rapidly accumulated an enormous number of more than 1000 citations in less than a year. Below is a graph of the distribution of the citations that the two papers have gathered until now. These counts include an INSPIRE ‘speciality’: we take into account the references to both version of a work: the published article and the arXiv preprint.

To look at this in context: among the million records in INSPIRE, only 512 papers so far have passed the 1000 citations mark. Of course, several of those describe major discoveries, such as the W and Z bosons, the top quark, and the ‘November revolution’ J/psi meson papers.

In their first year, the articles announcing the W and Z boson discoveries received a total of over 600 citations, while the two ‘November Revolution’ papers (BNL and SLAC) collected a total of around 1100 citations. The top quark discovery papers by Fermilab gathered a total of 1200 citations in one year.

For comparison, the highest-cited paper ever is Maldacena’s famous paper on the connection between string theory and quantum field theory, now closing in on 10,000 citations. It received just under 500 citations in its first year.