INSPIRE References and Citations

What is the difference between references and citations?

How do we collect references?

How do we store references?

How can I ensure my references are fully extracted?

How can I fix a mistake in the reference list in INSPIRE?

Why am I missing citations in INSPIRE?

What do you mean by published?

What do you consider as citable?


Q. What is the difference between references and citations?

A. In some sense this is just a choice of language, but it's a useful one. The references of your paper are those that you list at the end; they're the papers you've cited. The citations of your paper are all the papers that mention your work, that is all the papers that have your paper in their reference list. If a mistake has been made in a reference list, then the cited paper won't get its due citation in INSPIRE.


Q. How do we collect references?

A. References from eprints and and other papers for which we have the full-text (such as theses) are extracted automatically from PDF files, we also obtain the reference lists from journal articles via arrangements with publishers. When an eprint is first downloaded, we extract the references, then after one week we extract a fresh set of references in case any have changed. After that, the reference list of core papers (those from hep*, nucl*, gr-qc and physisc.acc-ph) is hand-checked; we don't have the resources to do this for other papers.


Q. How do we store references?

A. In SPIRES references were a single line, stored simply as a journal, eprint or occassionally report number reference, e.g.

PRLTA,104,141102 or
arXiv:0912.3976 or

In INSPIRE we now store all the information that was given in the paper, which is helpful if we don't have the paper in our database. An INSPIRE reference looks like this (compared with a single line SPIRES reference as given above):

C. M. Hull and P. K. Townsend

This new format will enable us to construct links by storing DOIs.


Q. How can I ensure my references are fully extracted?

A. To ensure the references of your papers are extracted cleanly, we recommend using the INSPIRE LaTeX/BibTeX formats to create your reference lists. Every record in INSPIRE (for example) has the following links:

BibTeX | LaTeX(US) | LaTeX(EU)
just click on one to be taken to a display that you can cut and paste into your reference list. Alternatively, you can use INSPIRE to generate a bibliography.


Q. How can I fix a mistake in the reference list in INSPIRE?

A. Just click on on the "References" link, e.g. then click on the "Update these references" link.


Q. Why am I missing citations in INSPIRE?

A. The citation search should be used and interpreted with great care. Citations in INSPIRE-HEP are gathered only from the papers in our database that have references entered electronically via eprints or journal articles. Non-eprinted papers are difficult for us due to manpower constraints. The citations we do collect are subject to many forms of error, from typographical errors in the source paper, to errors in our parsing of the reference, to errors due to some nonstandard reference formats. Publications such as monographs or conference proceedings are treated inconsistently, both in the literature and in our database. Thus citations to these works can be up to date, completely missing, or somewhere in between.

It should also be noted that we are primarily concerned with High Energy Physics and do not typically include papers outside of direct interest to this field. If you usually publish in, say, condensed matter physics, but have written a few papers in HEP both your publication history and citation counts will be unreliable in INSPIRE. In the future we may show citation counts from other services on our author publication profile pages, which will help this situation. In HEPNames we can also link to your GoogleScholar profile.

These are just a few of the challenges that any attempt to track citations confronts. There will always be errors in citation counts in INSPIRE-HEP and in other databases.


Q. What do you consider as citable?

A. As citable, we consider arXiv papers, journal articles and some report series.