Since 1968 SLAC has been maintaining a database of HEP documents called SPIRES, and this has become one of the main tools used by anybody searching the HEP literature. In recent years CERN has developed a much more modern document management system known as CDS Invenio. The two projects are now being brought together into something to be called INSPIRE, which will combine the best of both, in particular making the SPIRES data available through the more modern Invenio software.
There’s a press release from DESY about this here, and an alpha version is up and running here. The current state of the project is that most of the SPIRES functionality has been reproduced, and they are working on getting a beta version ready of a complete replacement of SPIRES.
Last week at DESY a workshop was held about this, announced as an HEP Information Resource Summit, talks are available here. There were presentations from other HEP information providers, including the APS, commercial publishers and the arXiv. The arXiv presentation discussed their desire to better support blogging, and the role of the blogosphere, including the fact that Garrett Lisi’s paper was the most downloaded article on the arXiv. The current trackback system provides links to 21 discussions of the paper, but due to the Distler/arXiv policy of censoring links to this blog, one that is missing is the discussion here. More and more very worthwhile content is appearing on blogs, so the question of how to make this readily available in a useful form will become an increasingly important one.
Unfortunately, while the arXiv does a good job of bringing together mathematics and physics, there seems to be no discussion of the role of the mathematics literature in the new INSPIRE system. Besides the arXiv, the main database used by mathematicians is the excellent MathSciNet developed by the AMS.
Update: Travis Brooks of SPIRES has a posting about this here.
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