Winter conference season [*] is upon us, which means everybody is busy preparing new results. Today, instead of talking about the physics itself, I’m going to discuss the process around it; namely the procedure which the results of an LHCb analysis [**] need to go through before being released.
There are two ways in which analysis results are released: either through a conference note, meaning it is a preliminary result, or to a paper. I’m only going to discuss the former because I’m currently going through that procedure at the moment, though as a referee of the analysis and not a proponent.
The preliminary result approval procedure is constantly in flux, but currently, it looks something like this:
which is a simplified (and coloured) version of what can publicly be accessed on the LHCb editorial board webpage.
I think the most important points to note are the levels of the scrutiny that each analysis goes through before release. When I say that “everybody is busy preparing new results”, I’m not just referring to the people who are performing the specific analyses which are being released, I also include all the assigned analysis referees and editorial board members, and the physics coordinator as well as interested members of the collaboration, who can review the public notes and attend the approval presentations.
Believe me when I tell you that there have been/will be lot of extra emails and meetings this month due to all the paper and conference note reviews and approval presentations… Here’s looking forward to the Moriond conferences where the new results will be presented!
[*] Winter conference season for experimental particle physics refers to the cluster of conferences held in February and March every year. The most well known of these are Aspen, Lake Louise, La Thuile and Moriond. Yes, these conferences are held annually at ski resorts. The conference organisers are understanding enough to give participants time to take advantage of the location, with sessions in the morning and evening, but none in the afternoon. I personally call these conferences “skiing conferences”. I have never been to any of them, but I would love to some day. They sound like the perfect combination of work and fun.
[**] I should probably mention that all experimental particle physics collaborations have some sort of publication procedure, most of which involve some sort of detailed internal document, followed by the public document.