Correcting references

In INSPIRE, reference lists are automatically extracted from papers and processed in order to track citations. While this process is fairly reliable, sometimes references are not recognized properly and the corresponding citation is not captured.

If you notice an issue with references, you can either
1. correct it yourself through the dedicated interface
2. report the issue through our support form

Option 1: correct the references yourself

This is the preferred method when a limited number of references are incorrect, as the change will be done immediately and the review process is very quick for our limited support staff.


1) Log into INSPIRE by clicking on ‘Login’, and then ‘Login with ORCID’:

2) Log in by using your ORCID credentials, or

3) any linked account:

use ORCID credentials
4) Open the record where you want to correct the reference, then scroll down to the references and click on the “edit” button next to the incorrect or unrecognized reference. Note that if you notice a citation is missing on a paper, this means that you need to open the record that should cite it, not the record with the incorrect citation count.

Click on the edit button in the reference list to update the reference

5) A pop-up window will open, where you can search for any INSPIRE paper using the standard search syntax, then select the right one by using the radio button on the left. Press the “Select” button at the very bottom to confirm.

Use the search in the pop-up window to find the cited paper on INSPIRE

6) The reference will be updated. If all goes well, you’ll see a success message appear.

A message will inform you when the reference has been successfully modified

7) Although the reference change will appear immediately for the benefit of all INSPIRE users, and it will affect the citation count of the cited paper, it will still be reviewed by an INSPIRE staff member to ensure the correctness of the change.

Option 2: report the issue

This is the preferred method when a large number of references are incorrect because either the entire or a part of the reference list has been detected incorrectly and is missing, or the reference list has been updated.


1) Please fill in this form: select ‘Report missing or incorrect information’, add the link to the affected record and then select ‘References and citations’. In order for a reference to be recognized and linked in INSPIRE, one of the following needs to be provided:

  • DOI
  • e-print reference
  • complete publication information (journal name, volume, year and page-range/article ID)

2) Determine which of the three options below best fits your reference correction:

  • If an updated reference list is available on arXiv or from the publisher, please indicate this in your support ticket.
  • If individual references should be corrected, please first try to correct them yourself as explained above. If you are unable to and want to report the issue, please provide a link to the record that has the reference list that should be updated and indicate exactly which references should be corrected and which records should be cited. Example:

    Please update the references of Reference #4 should refer to Nucl.Phys.B 135 (1978) 149 (

  • If several references need to be corrected, or the INSPIRE record only contains a partial reference list, please send the reference list in a .txt file with each reference on a separate line. Example:
    Aasi, J., Abadie, J., Abbott, B. P., et al. 2015, Classical and Quantum Gravity, 32, 115012
    Acernese, F., Agathos, M., Agatsuma, K., et al. 2014, Classical and Quantum Gravity, 32, 024001
    Achterberg, A., Ackermann, M., Adams, J., et al. 2006, Astroparticle Physics, 26, 155
    Ageron, M., Aguilar, J., Al Samarai, I., et al. 2011, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 656, 11

    If the reference list is ordered by number, each reference does not need to be on a separate line. Example:

    [1] Abbott, T. M. C., Aguena, M., Alarcon, A., et al., 2022, Phys. Rev. D, 105, 2, 
    023520, arXiv:2105.13549 
    [2] Ajani, V., Peel, A., Pettorino, V., Starck, J.-L., Li, Z., Liu, J., 2020, Phys. Rev. D, 102, 10, 103531 
    [3] Alam, S., Aubert, M., Avila, S., et al., 2021, Phys. Rev. D, 103, 8, 083533, 
    [4] Allys, E., Marchand, T., Cardoso, J. F., VillaescusaNavarro, F., Ho, 
    S., Mallat, S., 2020, Phys. Rev. D, 102, 10, 103506

It is INSPIRE policy that the published reference list is the official version. If a record has been published, please do not send updates for the arXiv version of the reference list.

Some records, such as conference proceedings and books with chapters written by different authors, should not contain reference lists. References are stored in the individual records for the conference papers or book chapters (see Why do some works get a lot of separate records for the sections in INSPIRE?). References will not be updated/added to records of conference proceedings or books that also have individual records for each chapter. If some of these records do contain a partial reference list, this is an error created by our automated reference extraction tools. You can let us know that these references should be removed by filling in this form.

Only references that can link to an existing record in INSPIRE are counted in INSPIRE’s citation metrics.

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