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INSPIRE-HEP is an open access digital library for the field of high energy physics (HEP). It is the successor of the Stanford Physics Information Retrieval System (SPIRES) database,[1] the main literature database for high energy physics since the 1970s.


SPIRES was in addition to the CERN Document Server (CDS), arXiv and parts of Astrophysics Data System one of the main Particle Information Resources. A survey conducted in 2007 [2] reached the result that the users of the SPIRES database wanted the portal to provide more services that at that time already 30-year-old system could provide. On the second annual Summit of Information Specialists in Particle Physics and Astrophysics in May 2008, the physics laboratories CERN, DESY, SLAC and Fermilab therefore announced that they will work together to create a new Scientific Information System for high energy physics called INSPIRE.[3] It interacts with other HEP service providers like,[4] Particle Data Group [5], NASA's Astrophysics Data System.[6] and HEPdata.[7] In April 2010, a beta version of INSPIRE-HEP was freely accessible,[8] in April 2012, it fully replaced SPIRES.[9] A new, upgraded and feature-packed INSPIRE platform was officially released in March 2020.[10]


INSPIRE-HEP combines the SPIRES-HEP database content with the open source digital library software Invenio[11] and the content of the CERN Document server.[8] In addition to scientific papers, INSPIRE-HEP provides other information like citation metrics,[12] plots extracted from papers or internal experiment notes[13][14] and tools for users to improve metadata like crowdsourcing for author disambiguation.[15] As of August 2012, INSPIRE-HEP contains 1.1 million records. INSPIRE provides not only a literature database for the field of High-Energy Physics, but hosts also other HEP-related services:

  • HEPNames: a comprehensive directory of people involved in High-Energy Physics[16]
  • Institutions: a database compiling over 7000 institutes related to the HEP field; included in the information about each institute is a link to all the papers in INSPIRE-HEP that are associated with the institution as well as a list of people (taken from HEPNames)
  • Conferences: a collection of meetings and conferences
  • Jobs: a listing of academic and research jobs of interest to the community in high energy physics, nuclear physics, accelerator physics and astrophysics
  • Experiments: a database containing summaries of HEP and HEP-related experiments from many different labs and locations around the world



  1. ^ "Helmholtz Open Access: Newsletter 23 vom 18.08.2008". Retrieved 2012-08-17.
  2. ^ Gentil-Beccot, A., Mele S., Holtkamp, A., O’Connell, H., and Brooks, T.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Warner, S., and Rieger, O. (2010)
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Invenio User Group Workshop 2017". Indico. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^
  10. ^ "The next generation of INSPIRE is here!". CERN. 30 March 2020. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ Gülzow, V., and Kemp, Y. (2012)
  14. ^ DPHEP Study Group (2012)
  15. ^
  16. ^


  • Gentil-Beccot, A., Mele S., Holtkamp, A., O’Connell, H., and Brooks, T. (2008). Information Resources in High-Energy Physics. Surveying the Present Landscape and Charting the Future Course, arXiv:0804.2701v2 [1]
  • Warner, S., and Rieger, O. (2010). Developing Sustainability Strategies for arXiv. Information Standards Quarterly 22, 2-4. [2]
  • Gülzow, V., and Kemp, Y. (2012). Teilchenphysik. In: Neuroth, H. et al. (ed.). Langzeitarchivierung von Forschungsdaten. Eine Bestandsaufnahme, 257-274 [3]
  • DPHEP Study Group (2012). Status Report of the DPHEP Study Group: Towards a Global Effort for Sustainable Data Preservation in High Energy Physics. arXiv:1205.4667 [4]

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