Recently in consultation with our Advisory Board we changed how we select astro-ph articles from arXiv, to optimize collection of the content our community needs.

Since then we have been analysing the results of the new selection process and listening to your feedback. As a result, we are making an important adjustment to the selection policy to better suit your needs.

As of the past Friday, we are again harvesting 100% of astro-ph.CO content. This eliminates the possibility of missing relevant papers. We will soon fill in any cosmology content that was not added to INSPIRE in the past few weeks. We are working to provide the most accurate and comprehensive citation data, so no articles and citations are lost.

INSPIRE will now add content from a subset of astro-ph that is relevant to our community:

  • astro-ph.HE in its entirety
  • astro-ph.CO in its entirety
  • All pre-prints which are cross-listed to astro-ph.HE and astro-ph.CO, as well as astro-ph preprints from other sub-categories which are cross-listed to any of the core INSPIRE categories.
  • As always the case, articles relevant to HEP will be added on a case-by-case basis.

Astro-ph authors should also be aware that because INSPIRE’s focus is HEP, our automated tools are slightly less effective at correctly attributing astro-ph articles to their authors, and extracting all the references.

Consequently, we would like to call on astro-ph authors to ‘claim’ these articles in their profiles (check here) and submit corrections via the reference correction form if any references need improvement.

As always, we will keep an eye on the results, and make sure we are making optimal use of our resources to provide the best service possible for our user community.

We apologize for any confusion or concern during the pilot phase and we are most grateful to the community in supporting the way we adjust our services. We are eager to receive your feedback as we work together to make INSPIRE always better.

The INSPIRE Management Team

We prepared for a major infrastructure update and roll-out of software improvements. We try to make the switch as seamless as possible. Thus, tomorrow Wednesday 23rd October, from 9 am – 5 pm CEST, INSPIRE will be upgraded. Searching will not be affected. However, other services will not be available during the update. These include job postings, conference submissions and all activities related to the author profile pages.

After this INSPIRE will be back to full and even better service including e.g. new author pages (watch for an upcoming blog post).

Our apologies for the inconvenience this may cause!

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.

The Astronomy, Astrophysics and HEP communities have long relied on arXiv, ADS and INSPIRE for their communication. ADS has been tailored to the needs of the Astronomy and Astrophysics communities, and INSPIRE emerges from the HEP community. All three communities use arXiv to distribute preprints.

INSPIRE currently lists all astro-ph preprints appearing in arXiv. However, most of them are not immediately relevant to the HEP community and we do not provide additional services such as author disambiguation, affiliations, reference curation, conference information, etc. for these preprints.

Starting on the 1st of October, INSPIRE will only add a relevant subset of astro-ph:

  1. astro-ph.HE [High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena] in its entirety, including cross-listings
  2. For the rest of astro-ph, as for all other arXiv subcategories outside the CORE categories (see, we will take eprints cross-listed to the CORE categories.
  3. We will also take care to cover articles on dark matter and dark energy, as well as articles by the Planck Collaboration. Other articles relevant to HEP will be added on a case-by-case basis. For example, in the astro-ph.CO category [Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics], roughly 50% of the publications are HEP-related and will be added to INSPIRE.

We hope this will make it easier for users to find relevant content. Our friends at ADS will continue to be the natural port of call for those users who need a deeper analysis of Astronomy and Astrophysics content, and we are working behind the scenes to better integrate the services of our two systems.

Dear INSPIRE users,

There is another part of INSPIRE tips that can help you use the system quicker and better. We wanted to remind you about some of the latest improvements we have implemented.

  • If you for example search for: f a ivanov, i and j yafia and d > 2000 and then select the citesummary option from the drop-down menu, the citations summary table for that particular set of results appears. At the bottom of the citation summary page, there is an option to exclude self-citations. Clicking one of the counts on the citation summary page shows you the individual articles that comprise that count.
  • We would like to remind you that we have recently completed an improvement on the topcites feature. INSPIRE considers a paper top-cited, if it is cited more than 50 times. Now the results are marked with different-coloured little flags in the result list according to how often a paper is cited.
  • We are happy to tell you that the job matrix is available now

For more search tips, check here.

Feel free to contact us at if you still have any questions.

Dear INSPIRE users,

Following the previous blogpost with author search tips, we would like to share a couple of more tricks for easier search on INSPIRE.


  • You can search by dates using two-digit or four-digit years by: find a maldacena and d 97
  • You can search by a period of time by: find a maldacena and d 1997->2011
  • You can both search for the date when a record was added (da) and the date when a record was updated (du). Just remember that searching for dates before or after a certain year will also include results for the specified date, along with all other results.
  • Specifying date searches with “today” or “last year” also gives results. Check here for more information.
  • The search above in Invenio syntax will look like this: author:maldacena year:1997


Just have in mind that full-text searching is available for all arXiv papers, but not for all theses, reports and journal articles.

For more search tips, check here.

Feel free to contact us at if you still have any questions.

Dear INSPIRE users,

Thanks to your numerous responses to our survey earlier in the spring, we have understood the most common challenges you have with the search syntax of INSPIRE. Thus, we have compiled the following suggestions for your searches – please try and let us know what you think.

  • If you wish to limit your search to papers only with/by a single author, you can do it by using the author count feature. For example, to find all articles with “a j ellis” as the sole author: find a j ellis and ac 1
  • Author count search also works when you want to limit the search to a range of number of authors, for example, from one to ten authors: find a j ellis and ac 1->10
  • You can also search for collaborations with more than a certain number of authors: find cn cdf and ac 100+
  • You also had some questions on author searching as well. We would like to point out that the sophisticated SPIRES-style author searching also works in INSPIRE. For example, “j ellis” or “ellis, j” will give the same result. But the more precise you make your search, the more precise your results are. If you include a middle initial, results will be restricted to match only with records that also have the middle initial. Including the full given name will restrict the search to match only on the initial or the exact given name.
  • Another way to search for an author is using the Invenio syntax: author:”j ellis” (for further guidance on author search, check here).
  • To search for the exact name of an author as it appears in INSPIRE, use the following construction: find ea [familly name], [first name or initial]. For example: find ea ellis, j

For more search tips, check here.

Feel free to contact us at if you still have any questions.

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.

A sleeping beauty is a paper that slumbers for an extended period of time, attracting few if any citations, until suddenly it awakens and begins to attract many citations. Such a paper is Peter Minkowski’s Physics Letters B article that studied the possibility of lepton family number violation. From its appearance in 1977 until 2003, 26 years later, it received only 17 citations, then it woke in 2004 garnering 46 citations, followed by over 100 in 2005 and amazingly has enjoyed increasing numbers of citations in virtually every year since.

Citation history for INSPIRE record 4994: mu --> e gamma at a Rate of One Out of 1-Billion Muon Decays?

Further information on the citations of Minkowski’s paper can be found at its INSPIRE citation page.

Who knows how many other papers in INSPIRE are similarly biding their time?