Personal names are neither unique nor permanent. You can write or transcribe them in different ways. You can get married and change your family name. You can even find colleagues in HEP with the same name, e.g. John Smith. What happens when the John Smith you are looking for writes a paper? How do you tell him apart from his namesakes and find his articles? And does that article written by J.C.Smith in 1993 on [Nuclear Physics Revolution], belong to your colleague John, or Jim C. from Stanford?  This is something INSPIRE has been working on for a long time. We introduced INSPIRE IDs to uniquely establish your identity in our HEPNames database and more recently Author Publication Profiles, such as J.Q.Physicist.1 to collect all your papers together. But this is only for HEP, what about the wider world? Publishers introduced their own identification systems, so you probably have noticed that you have ended up with many IDs that describe your academic publications and CVs. These disparate identifier systems suffer from only partial coverage of a researcher’s corpus and interoperability issues.ORCID to the rescue!

ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a non-profit organization supported by a global community of organizational members, including research organizations, publishers, funders, professional associations, and other stakeholders in the research ecosystem which  has developed a unique researcher identifier that distinguishes you from other researchers. ORCID ID can hold a record of all your research activities, variants of your name, affiliations, etc. You can also use it for manuscript submissions to most of the major publishers.

It helps you centralize your information and sign your work unambiguously, no matter how your personal details, affiliations or field of work change. It is also an invaluable tool to track impact and grant credit to authors. It is a single identifier that follows you throughout your career. Having an ORCID ID gives your professional circle the ability to see your publications and your work experience. To sum up, ORCID can provide you a detailed professional record, something that can be a very useful tool for researchers that want to keep their publications and research in the spotlight. Moreover, some of the biggest research libraries as INSPIRE are collaborating with ORCID, to offer one unique and widely accepted ID.

How does ORCID work?

To begin with, an ORCID ID is a unique 16-digit code (e.g.0000-0002-5769-7094), given to you upon the registration of your ORCID account. After registering you can manage all your information from your profile page. You can add as many details as you want and set the level of privacy you desire for the information you enter (public, limited, or private).

Fig 1: ORCID profile page

What makes ORCID special is its ability to synchronize content with other platforms and services. That means that you spend less time (re)entering data and have more time available to conduct research. At this time, well-known services collaborating with ORCID are Scopus, Nature, APS, Faculty of 1000. In case you are wondering what your publication page would look like in ORCID let’s have a look at a typical example in Fig. 2. You can also see that this person has connected  his ORCID with ResearcherID and Scopus:

Fig 2: ORCID publication page

If you are interested in creating your own ORCID, just click here.

INSPIRE has been working on some exciting new features! Publications are leading to their respective authors  but with help from ORCID, INSPIRE is going to be sure about the author’s identity and the procedure to claim your own publications will become easier.

Keep an eye on the INSPIRE-HEP blog and twitter for our next blog post, to better understand ORCID’s significance and use for INSPIRE and INSPIRE Labs!



As you might have read in our previous blog post, the new INSPIRE Labs website is the place where we will deploy and let you test new features.

Let us show you one of our new features: check out the Suggestion Forms on Labs!

Do you know about any publication (articles, proceedings, thesis) that is not on INSPIRE but could be an interesting addition? You can help us by letting us know about it via our new suggestion form. We will be happy to review it and include the content as soon as possible if it falls within our collection policy.


Fig 1: Submit publications automatically

To make it simple, we included an automatic import tool (Fig. 1). If you enter an arXiv number and/or a DOI to the form, INSPIRE Labs will automatically pre-fill as much publication information as possible.

You can also fill out or complete it manually (Fig. 2). Only a few fields are mandatory, but the more information you provide us, the more useful it would be for the readers. It is particularly important that the Author fields contain all the co-authors who wrote the publication, with each name in a separate input field, one on each line.

Fig 2: Submit publications manually

All the suggestions received will be reviewed by our team manually, to verify the content and complete the information following INSPIRE standards. This procedure can take a few days. Once the submission is approved, you will receive a confirmation e-mail and it will appear automatically in INSPIRE as a temporary record that will probably get further curation afterwards. Moreover, please do not worry if some processes like reference extraction and indexing may take some time.

You can find more information about how to use our suggestion form in our Help page.

We hope that you will find this new feature useful. As always, we are waiting for your feedback. You can send us an e-mail or try out the new Send Feedback widget on the right side of every INSPIRE Labs page. Let us know what you think about our new forms!

What is INSPIRE Labs and why are we creating this platform?

INSPIRE Labs will be a new place where you can test new features and interact with our team of programmers and designers through various methods of feedback so that the finished result will be as close as possible to your needs and expectations. INSPIRE Labs is not a replacement for INSPIRE, but is used as an incubator for features and suggestions that might help the community to evolve its current tools and workflow. With a modern look and responsive design, INSPIRE Labs is going to facilitate your everyday academic, HEP related activities.

Figure 1: INSPIRE Labs logo

What we are currently working on  

INSPIRE Labs uses new technologies to build advanced features and intuitive interfaces in order to provide you with a better and faster service. The first feature that will be introduced is the suggestion form that will help you suggest publications easily and effectively, suggestions that could be included to INSPIRE. You will find more information and tips in our next blog post! Another part of this effort is a fresh redesign and revisit of INSPIRE’s services as individual blocks of a single information architecture. Our core collections will stay the same, with one significant addition though the data collection, which will provide you a centralised search point to find data sets, software and other supporting material.

And there are plenty more things to come…

In the near future, you will see more and more features appear in Labs! You can expect visually and functionally upgraded versions of some of the already known features of INSPIRE as part of this effort. We will make changes to evolve the interface and functionality of one of the most basic aspects of INSPIRE, the search tool! Our main goal is to improve the look and the functionality, so that you can search better and faster in the future.

However, your feedback is vital in this process. We have developed an easy to find feedback button at the right side of INSPIRE Labs. Feedback is easier than ever!

Do not hesitate to share with us all of your ideas and concerns. Let’s try to bring INSPIRE closer to your needs. Stay up to date for sneak peaks on new features and other news on our blog and twitter and don’t forget to check our blog next week to find out more about our new suggestion form!

We know you appreciate searching based on citations, so let us provide you with some handy search tips to make use of INSPIRE’s functionality:

With the search term “topcite” you can search by citation count, like papers with a given number of citations or within a range such as “100->500” (just be careful not to include any blank spaces) or you can use another popular  range, “100+”, instead. For example, you can search for publications authored by Bando with 100 to 500 citations using “find a bando and topcite 100->500”  

Using “find c” you can search on the number of citations from papers in INSPIRE to an article, even if the article itself is not part of INSPIRE. To search for all the papers citing a certain Physics Review Letters publication you would use “find c Phys.Rev.Lett.,28,1421”.

The search term “refersto” can be very helpful if you are looking for articles that refer to other sets of articles. If you want papers that reference articles of a particular journal (e.g. Phys.Rev.Lett) you can type “find refersto j Phys.Rev.Lett.”. The same applies to other sets, for example, to search all the articles that reference the ATLAS Collaboration you could use “find refersto cn ATLAS“.

Another interesting term is “citedby”. With citedby, you can find all the publications that were cited by a certain set of articles or by specific authors, e.g. by searching “find citedby a maldacena”, you can find all the publications that Maldacena has cited.

An additional search syntax: How to search with INVENIO

At this point we should mention that INSPIRE also supports an alternative search syntax that you could find more convenient depending on your preferences. You can find all of the examples that were used previously in both search  in the table below.

topcite find a bando and topcite 100->500 author:bando and cited:100->500
find c find c Phys.Rev.Lett.,28,1421 reference:Phys.Rev.Lett.,28,1421
refersto find refersto j Phys.Rev.Let refersto: journal: Phys.Rev.Lett
citedby find citedby a maldacena citedby: author: maldacena


And what about “self-cited”?

In our previous blog post, we explained how to use the self-cite search syntax. It is time to clarify what the self-cited really is so that you can fully understand the potential of self-cited.

Many times authors of scientific papers use their previous publications as a basis for expanding on their research. When an author cites his/her own past publications in a paper, these publications are referred to as “self-cited” in INSPIRE.

Keep in mind that self-citations are gathered only from the papers in our database that have reference lists and they apply to all the (co-)authors involved, citing and cited.

For example, there is this article  written by a 4 researchers and some of the writers decided to make a reference to it in their future publications. So this publication is included in the citations section as self-cited. Keep in mind that if a paper has more than one authors, then self citation is any citing paper written by any of these authors. If you want to remove self-cited from your INSPIRE queries, check our previous post on how you can combine the syntax to obtain the exact results you are looking for.

Let us know what you think in the comments below or send us an e-mail to  with your comments and suggestions!

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

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.

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

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:

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):