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More Help for Conferences

 Below is older help information that may or may not be useful.  If you're stuck, you can always ask us for help.

SPIRES Command Searching

If you are familiar with the syntax for command line searching in SPIRES, you have the ability to search all the SPIRES databases with this command language. Please use the following as a refresher in how to construct the find commands. You can send email to library@slac.stanford.edu for assistance in constructing a find command.

Examples of SPIRES command line searches

find date 6/2000 or 7/2000 or 8/2000
find title physics and place paris
find date 2000 and place london
find date 2001 and not place canada

Constructing a FIND command

The format of the SPIRES FIND command is. . .
      FIND index-name search-term(s) [ Boolean Operator index-name search-term ]

  • FIND is the required word.
  • Index-name is one of the indexes (see below).
  • Search-term(s) is the word or words you wish to search on.


You may search using the following full index names or their abbreviations (listed in parenthesis).

       CNUMBER (CN)        TITLE (T)             DATE (D)
       PLACE   (PL)


Conference Number search. The conference number is in the format CYY/MM/DD[.x]. Where
    YY is the two digit year
    MM is the two digit month
    DD is the two digit date that the conference starts on
    .x is optional for when there are multiple conferences that start on the same date. The first conference would be ...05, the second conference would be ...05.1, then ...05.2, etc.

          find cnum c00/04/02.1


Title search. It is enough to know only one word from a title, but a search will often be more efficient if you type more than one word. The order of title-words in your request is unimportant. Do not use commas to separate the words. (e.g., find title neutrino physics). Examples:

          find title cp violation


Place/Location search. Enter any words from the address, city, U.S. State, Providence, or country that you know. If the conference is in a small town or suburb, enter the nearest large city. Examples:

          find place geneva


Date search. You can restrict your search to either a date range with a beginning date, or an ending date or both. You would use the index name date and then add the qualifiers afterwards. If you give one date, it will search the starting dates of the conferences for that date. For example, find date 2000 will find all conferences in the year 2000. You can also use operators to give a range. Shown are some examples.

          find date 2000
          find date 2/2000 or 3/2000 or 4/2000
          find date after 2/1/2000 and date before 3/1/2000
          find date >= 1/2000 and date <= 2/2000


Search Operators

A more complicated search may be entered using the logical operators and, or, and and not. For example, typing find date 2000 and place canada yields all conferences in Canada during the year 2000. Typing find title neutrino and not date <= 1999 will find all conferences with neutrino in the title that are after the year 1999.


The truncation symbol, #, may be used for some indices if the spelling of a word is not known or if a more general search is desired. For efficient searches, it should be used sparingly, and only with the following indices:

       PLACE (PL)          TITLE (T)


Enter a SPIRES Search Command

Try out your search here with all your new-found knowledge


Sorting Your Result Set

You can sort your result set by date. You can either sort it chronologically, where the oldest entries come first, or reverse chronologically, where the newest entries come first. You can also choose to do no sort, which will be faster and the entries will generally be in chronological order, but not guaranteed.

Sorting on the Search Form

There is a pull-down menu for how to sort. The default is at No Sort but you can choose from the pull down menu another option.

Help with Viewing Results

You can have two different views of the conference information in our databases. We have a full view which shows all the fields in the database, but only displays 25 conferences on a page at one time. We also have a short view which only shows the title, location and date of the conference, but this view will display upwards of 300 conferences per page at any one time.

FULL Conference Display

8th International Conference On Heavy Ion Accelerator Technology
5-9 Oct 1998, Chicago, Illinois
SPIRES Conf Num: C98/10/05.4


Conference Services: Argonne: Bldg 201: 9700 South Cass Avenue: Argonne, IL 60439
Proceedings: HEAVY ION ACCELERATOR TECHNOLOGY: Proceedings. Edited by Kenneth W. Shepard. Woodbury, N.Y., American Inst. Phys., 1999. 592p. (AIP Conference Proceedings, Vol. 473)
SLAC Library holdings: QCD199:I57:1998
Papers in SPIRES-HEP submitted to the Meeting/Conference
Conference URL: http://www.phy.anl.gov/hiat98/


What Information is Displayed

When the information about a conference is displayed, we only display that data which we have. So not all fields are displayed on each conference. Below is a mock-up of how a full record would look with all fields.

Conference TITLE
Conference DATE, LOCATION (city, country) SPIRES Conf Num: Conference NUMBER


Conference Address Information - contact info, name, address, etc.
Email address(es) of Conference organizers
Conference Proceedings Information
Link to SLAC Library Catalog if owned by the SLAC Library
Link to the papers listed in the SPIRES-HEP Database, usually appears after the conference
Conference URL: Link to the web site for that conference


SHORT Conference Display

There are two ways to view conferences in the short display. You can check the box on the search form for Short Display. When viewing conferences there is also a link at the top of the page for Display Records in Short which will display up to 300 records on one page in our short view. Here is what a record will look like.

1. 15th IAP Meeting On Galaxy Dynamics: From The Early Universe To The Present
9-13 Jul 1999, Paris, France
Full Record

What Information is Displayed in the SHORT Display

When the information about a conference is displayed in short, we only display a small amount of data so that we can display up to 300 conferences at one time. This allows you to view more data in a shorter format. Below is a mock-up of how a short record would look with all fields.

1. Meeting/Conference Title
Conference Dates, Conference Location
Link to full record

Large Result Set

If you get more than 25 conferences in your result set, there will be links to the rest of the result set members at the top and bottom of each page. Here are descriptions of what the links mean.

  • First. This will bring you to the beginning of your result set and the first record displayed will be the first conference in the result set. This link will bring up results 1 to 25.
  • Previous 25. This will get you to the previous group of 25 conferences in the result set. If you are viewing results 51 to 75, then this link will bring up results 26 to 50.
  • Next 25. This will get you to the next group of 25 conferences in the result set list.
  • Last. This will get you the last group of conferences in the result set. This is the bottom of the list.

Search Again?

If you want to refine your search, there is a box at the bottom of the screen with your search command in it. You can either refine that search and press the enter key. Or you can click on Search Conferences link at the top and bottom of the page to go back to the search page. Your find command is displayed at the top of the page as a reference to which search you ran.


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SPIRES was replaced by INSPIRE in 2012

Would you like to search faster? And smarter?
Get detailed results?
Directly access figures?
Know which papers are cited together with yours?
Search inside papers?

Try INSPIRE, the successor of SPIRES, delivering all these features and much more.

More details on INSPIRE at projecthepinspire.net

 SPIRES HEP was a joint project of SLAC, DESY & FNAL as well as the worldwide HEP community.
It was superseeded by INSPIRE

 Last Updated: 03/04/2004