SPIRES script

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Revision as of 19:01, 6 July 2007 by Tom (talk | contribs) (temporary update)
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SPIRES script is a command line program written in Python that accesses information on papers in the SPIRES online high energy physics literature database. It can access title, author, bibitem and BiBTeX records and update your local BiBTeX. A separate program listcitations.py reads through a TeX file and then looks up all the \cite{...} references and outputs the bibitems.

installation on a GNU/Linux system

The script requires the python interpreter and wget to be installed on your system. These are automatically installed on most GNU/Linux distributions, but check they are there by typing




at the command line and see what happens.

If python and wget are present download the script from File:Spires-0.2.tar. Unpack this tar archive with

tar -xvf Spires-0.2.tar

You now should have two programs, spires.py and listcitations.py.

To run spires.py type

./spires.py hep-th/9711200

or if this doesn't work, try

python spires.py hep-th/9711200


The typical accepted inputs are the usual arXiv references, the SPIRES TeX key or a SPIRES-style journal reference

./spires.py hep-th/9711200
./spires.py 0705.0303
./spires.py Maldacena:1997re
./spires.py CMPHA,43,199

If no options are specified all possible outputs will be displayed

tom@fyodor:~$ python spires.py hep-th/9711200
     author    = "Maldacena, Juan M.",
     title     = "The large N limit of superconformal field theories and
     journal   = "Adv. Theor. Math. Phys.",
     volume    = "2",
     year      = "1998",
     pages     = "231-252",
     eprint    = "hep-th/9711200",
     SLACcitation  = "%%CITATION = HEP-TH/9711200;%%"
Maldacena, Juan M.
The large N limit of superconformal field theories and supergravity

To see all the options access the help page

tom@fyodor:~$ ./spires.py -h
SPIRES script
python spires.py reference [ -hbiatcev ] [ --help ] [ --library library.bib ] [ --download download_path/ ]
"reference" must be a standard arXiv reference, e.g. hep-th/9711200, 0705.0303, Maldacena:1997re or a SPIRES journal reference, e.g. CMPHA,43,199
-h, --help
displays this help message
displays the BiBTeX entry
displays the bibitem entry
displays the author(s)
displays the title
displays the TeX citation key
displays everything
verbose mode

--download download_path/
for arXiv references downloads a pdf of the paper from the arXiv to the directory download_path/
--library library.bib
if it is not already in library.bib, appends the BiBTeX entry to library.bib; use at your own risk

Each item can be specified individually with switches, e.g. -t for title, -a for authors, -b for BiBTeX entry, -c for SPIRES TeX key. For example

tom@fyodor:~$ python spires.py hep-th/9711200 -at
Maldacena, Juan M.
The large N limit of superconformal field theories and supergravity

If you have a BiBTeX database file such as library.bib then the script can update the file with the BiBTeX entry if it is not already present

python spires.py hep-th/9711200 --library library.bib


future features

  • Aliases in listcitations.py

comments and bugs

If you have any comments or find bugs, please contact Tom.


This script is Copyright 2007 Tom Brown and made available under the GNU General Public Licence.