Friday, October 15, 2010

Database: will INSPIRE replace SPIRES?

The SPIRES database of physics papers has been serving the particle physics community - and a few related fields - for many years. How would you upgrade it?

Well, there shouldn't be too many spires over there. One spire is enough. But the new server should also be "in". That's enough. So the new server expected to supersede SPIRES is called
INSPIRE (beta)
David Berenstein has even borrowed a slogan from an unknown charity: move to INSPIRE. :-) There's no serious reason not to move: it's much faster, it pretty much understands SPIRES queries, and the output is just a little bit more chaotic than for SPIRES. ;-)

You may check that the new system is able, for example, to find papers by E. Witten which seems as a good enough test to me.

The new features don't look like a true revolution to me but each paper has a "detailed record". See e.g. the detailed record of Witten's latest paper on quantum mechanics and A-branes. To beat the arXiv, it contains some keywords and - believe me or not - all figures from the paper! ;-) There's one figure in that paper - Witten is cyclically moving along four arms of a bi-hyperbola in the xy-plane, while singing Greek letters and counting from 0 to 3. ;-)

Well, sometimes the figures don't show up. Also, the INSPIRE database seems to be a bit delayed. For example, this preprint just reached 250 citations today, joining the family of "famous papers" in the technical sense. Congratulations, thank you very much, you're welcome. :-) But it still shows 249 at INSPIRE.

But I am probably going to redefine my Google Chrome custom search engines.

Via David Berenstein

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