Physicists Thriving with Paperless Publishing

O'Connell, Heath B. Physicists Thriving with Paperless Publishing. High Energy Physics Libraries Webzine, 2002, n. 6/2002. [Journal article (Unpaginated)]


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English abstract

The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) and Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY) libraries have been comprehensively cataloguing the High Energy Particle Physics (HEP) literature online since 1974. The core database, SPIRES-HEP, now indexes over 400,000 research articles, with almost 50% linked to fulltext electronic versions (this site now has over 15 000 search hits per day). This database motivated the creation of the first site in the United States for the World-Wide Web at SLAC. With this database and the invention of the Los Alamos E-print archives in 1991, the HEP community pioneered the trend to "paperless publishing" and the trend to paperless access; in other words, the "virtual library." We examine the impact this has had both on the way scientists research and on paper-based publishing. The standard of work archived at Los Alamos is very high. 70% of papers are eventually published in journals and another 20% are in conference proceedings. As a service to authors, the SPIRES-HEP collaboration has been ensuring that as much information as possible is included with each bibliographic entry for a paper. Such metadata can include tables of the experimental data that researchers can easily use to perform their own analyses as well as detailed descriptions of the experiment, citation tracking, and links to full-text documents.

Item type: Journal article (Unpaginated)
Keywords: cataloguing, catalogazione, indexing, indicizzazione, database, SPIRES-HEP
Subjects: I. Information treatment for information services
Depositing user: Emanuela Casson
Date deposited: 18 Nov 2003
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 11:57


In the SPIRES database we use the following terminology: if paper B includes an earlier paper A in its "reference" list, then paper A is "cited by" paper B,

The SPIRES team produces a yearly list of the topcited papers (for that year, and all-time), with a beautiful review written by SLAC's Michael Peskin.

L. Addis, "SLAC Library monitors underground Physics Press," SLAC News (June 1971).

Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY),

Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC),

H. Galic, "Guide to QSPIRES and the particle databases on SLACVM", SLAC-0393,

P. A. Kreitz, L. Addis and A. S. Johnson, "The Virtual library in action: Collaborative international control of high-energy physics preprints", Presented at Grey Exploitations in the 21st Century: The Second International Conference on Grey Literature, Washington, D.C., 2-3 Nov, 1995;

L. Addis, H. Galic, P. Kreitz and A. Johnson, "The Virtual library in action", Presented at 209th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Anaheim, CA, 2-6 Apr 1995,

D. E. Knuth, "The TEX book", Addison Wesley 1986.

J. Maldacena, "The large N limit of superconformal field theories and supergravity", Adv. Theor. Math. Phys. 2, 231 (1998) [hep-th/9711200],

T. Berners-Lee, "Weaving the Web", (Harper, 1999). An interesting account of the development of SLAC's web server can be found in Louise Addis' First Monday interview

J. M. Deken, "First in the web, but where are the pieces?" SLAC-PUB-7636.

Much of the work for this linking was done by the former HEP database manager, Hrvoje "Harv" Galic. A good account of the adoption of new technologies to enhance the database can be found at

H. Van de Sompel and P. Hochstenbach, "Reference linking in a hybrid library environment", D-Lib Magazine 5 no. 4 and D-Lib Magazine 5 no. 10.


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