High-Energy Physics: how special are we?

THOR Disciplinary Workshop Series, part I

The High-Energy Physics (HEP) community is one out of four disciplinary communities that are in the focus of THOR. When it comes to addressing specific challenges within scholarly communication and Open Science in these communities, disciplinary workshops have proven to be a very effective tool to agree on community specific actions. By bringing together the key stakeholders in the community, these workshops can ensure that all relevant stakeholders (i.e. researchers, service providers, publishers, editors, repository providers, librarians, data centres, and indexing services) can discuss and work on actual solutions and concrete actions to address some of the challenges they face.  

The AAHEP workshop series brings together information providers from the High-Energy Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics communities every 1.5 years. This year, the THOR project (Artemis Lavasa and Sünje Dallmeier-Tiessen, CERN) organised the 9th iteration of the workshop, which took place on the 4th and 5th of May 2017 in Hamburg and was hosted by the DESY laboratory.

Martin Fenner (DataCite) set the scene with a keynote about linking articles, data and software, the role of persistent identifiers, their future, and how they could help a community to improve services and practices.

To facilitate discussions, four working sessions were organised based on the participants’ interests: Data and Software (Publishing/Linking), Measuring and Visualizing Impact, ORCID (Integration and uptake), Role of Proceedings (including conference IDs). Each session was then further split into various breakout groups to allow in-depth discussions about specific topics of interest.

The working sessions highlighted some high-level challenges and possible solutions:

Data and Software


  • Data availability statements are an important tool to express access and links to data and code underlying the findings presented in paper, but are not yet included.
  • Data citation: give credit where credit is due, make it human and machine readable.
  • Data deposition processes and workflows are unclear for researchers.

What can we do?

  • Publishers of journals in the field to get together to discuss what works for HEP and Astrophysics and whether data availability statements should be made mandatory or recommended.
  • Review existing data availability sections to assess what “kind” works for this community.
  • Review progress on data and software citation: share lessons learnt with the community about what works and what does not.
  • Identify major conferences to organise joint events to educate the community on  data and software sharing and citation.

Role of Proceedings


  • Ineffective proceeding publishing workflows – cumbersome, expensive, with quality issues. But authors and contributors need the reward of such a publication/contribution.

What can we do?

  • Raise community awareness around challenges, such as quality of conference metadata and duplicate submissions.
  • Drive the community towards modern publishing outlets to share slides (including DOI and slide citation).
  • Index “new publishing outlets” in community platforms like INSPIRE (HEP information platform) and ADS (Astrophysics Data System) to give contributors credit.



  • The widespread application of “impact factor”. We need to make the picture more comprehensive.

What can we do?

  • Investigate visibility of data/software on INSPIRE/ADS to “seed” data citation.
  • Share best practices: what altmetrics indicators could work for which community?

ORCID adoption and integration


  • Adoption is on the rise, but little information is available in community “hubs” about benefits or incentives around ORCID.
  • Information exchange across platforms needs to improve to help researchers put ORCID into good and efficient use.

What can we do?

  • Improve the benefit from collected ORCID iDs by connecting them: three concrete projects have been identified to address this.

This AAHEP workshop shows more work needs to be done to address the above-mentioned challenges within the High-Energy Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics Community. Some concrete ideas and projects have been started through the workshop, in particular with regard to data citation. Other initiatives include the projects mentioned above and the organisation of a follow-up workshop.