Author Searching

Every author in an article is stored in the SPIRES database in the following form:

AUTHOR = Lastname, Firstname or
First Initial, Secondname or
Middle Initial, Thirdname, etc.

As a rule, we take the name as it appears on the title page of the article. So it is important as to what form an author uses as his/her standard on papers. For instance, Jane Quantum Physicist might appear in SPIRES in a number of ways, depending on how many forms she used on papers:

AUTHOR = Physicist, Jane Quantum;
AUTHOR = Physicist, Jane Q.;
AUTHOR = Physicist, J.Q.;
AUTHOR = Physicist, Jane;
AUTHOR = Physicist, J.;

How do I ensure that my name will be correctly entered in the SPIRES database?
It is to your advantage that people can find all your papers in the SPIRES database with a simple search. This can be accomplished, in most cases, simply by making sure your middle name or initial is included in all of your papers. If you do not have a middle name, then you should always use your full first name. We will be happy to work with you to ensure this is the case. Please see this page
How can I be sure to find all the papers by Jane Q. Physicist?
SPIRES searches for author's works in the following way:
  1. find a physicist, j. This search will find all of Jane's papers, but it will also find anyone with the firstname starting with 'j' or with the middle name initial 'j', for example John Physicist and P.J. Physicist.
  2. find a physicist, jane This search will find all of Jane's papers, but will also find all papers with the first or middle name initial 'j', for example P.J. Physicist. It will not find someone with a full first name starting with 'j' that is not 'Jane'. Thus, it will not find John Physicist. This search will help to narrow the field, but will still pick up other authors papers.
  3. find a physicist, jane q. This search will find all of Jane Q.'s papers, i.e. Jane Quantum Physicist, Jane Q. Physicist, or J.Q. Physicist. However, it will not find Jane Physicist or J. Physicist without the middle name initial. Therefore, you might miss some of her papers. In SPIRES the middle name works as a Boolean search (and) because it is usually only stored as an initial (with the exception of perhaps Ph.D. theses).
    You should note here the importance of the space between the given names. The search
    find a physicist, jq
    will revert to the second case, but assume the person's name is "Jq" not "Jane".
  4. find ea physicist ,j.
    This search will find only papers by J. Physicist (ea=exact author). By using an exact author search you are assured of finding all of J. Physicist's papers, but it will not find Jane Physicist or J.Q. Physicist.
  5. find a physicist, jane q. or ea physicist, jane or ea physicist,j. This search will find all forms of Jane's name. However, this search will still find papers by John Physicist where he uses only J. Physicist.
How can I find all forms of a name that an author has used?
You can search SPIRES for all variations that an author has used in the browse index.
For instance, this is a sampling of the many variations for J. Ellis
 188    Ellis, J
 1      Ellis, J
 6      Ellis, J
 4      Ellis, J E
 5      Ellis, J R
 1      Ellis, J R
 426    Ellis, John

To find the way some of your favorite authors are listed in SPIRES-HEP try our author browse index
Enter value:

How can I do searches to find only the papers where Jane Q. Physicist is the sole author?
You can't. The best that you can do is use the first-author "fa" index, e.g. "find fa physicist,j.q." Beyond that you might need to use some Boolean nots to narrow your search result.
How are Asian names handled in SPIRES?
In order to make Asian (mainly Chinese and Korean) names as unique as possible, we used to insert a dash in the first name, e.g.
Lee, Sang-Hoon
Liu, Keh-Fei
Kim, Bock-Joo
the dash acts as a space, effectively giving us a middle initial, so these authors can be found as, respectively, S.H. Lee, K.F. Liu, B.J. Kim
Due to use feedback we have stopped this practice for Korean names and now abide by what is written on the paper.  This gives authors more control over their name's appearance, but makes papers less easily accessible since the presence or absence of the middle initial cannot be predicted.  We welcome feedback on this issue, both for Korean and Chinese names.  We certainly do not wish to offend, our original intent was to make it easier for papers to be found, by taking advantage of the natural break between the first two syllables in the original characters used in these languages.  Please write us at spires@slac.stanford.edu if you  have comments about our policies or your own name's treatment.

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

Last Updated: 08/30/2006

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