[SLAC] [SLAC Pubs and Reports]

Physicists Thriving with Paperless Publishing


The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) and Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY) libraries have been comprehensively cataloguing the High Energy Particle Physics (HEP) literature since 1974 and the core database, SPIRES-HEP, now indexes over 400,000 research articles, with almost 50% linked to fulltext electronic versions. This database motivated the creation of the first web implementation in the United States (and the second in the world). 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. With the E-print distribution having evolved from an established tradition of sending out hard-copy pre-prints, the standard of work archived at Los Alamos is very high (70% of papers are eventually published in journals and another 20% are conference proceedings). To allow authors to "thrive" the SPIRES-HEP collaboration has been ensuring that as much information as possible is included with each bibliographic entry for a paper. Such meta-data 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.

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Full bibliographic data for this document, including its complete author list, is (or soon will be) available from SLAC's SPIRES-HEP Database.

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