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Frequently Asked Questions

What is DMTools?

DMTools is a website that provides plotting resources for dark matter research. A large amount of scientific data is avaible on the site, which allows easy comparison of dark matter limits between experiments and theory. Anyone can download, upload, or graph data--a free user account can be created here. DMTools is maintained by Brown University's Particle Astrophysics Group.

Why does DMTools look different?

As of summer 2103, DMTools has been upgraded. Information about new features can be found here .

About Limits

How do I upload limits?

There are two ways of uploading limits. To begin uploading a limit, click the "new limit" link on the top of the "limits" page. This will bring up the input boxes that can be filled in with the appropriate information. You can also upload an XML file containing the limit's information; information on uploading the XML file can be found here.

Why can't I see my limit?

1) Did you input all of the required information? (For example, the "year" field cannot be left blank)

2) Is your data label too long? The data label must be less than 60 characters long.

3) Is the data itself too long? This can cause the server to crash or the data to exceed the database's maximum field length. To prevent this, keep your data less than 100 points long--the accuracy difference is unlikely to show up in the plots.

Where can I find example limits?

Example limits in XML form can be found on the help page.

How do I add my experiment to the list of experiments?

At this point you cannot add an experiment yourself. However, you can contact the site admins here and they will gladly add it for you!

What are the "Greatest Hits"?

The "greatest hits" are the limits that are considered the most relevant and important. You can help DMTools determine relevance by nominating a limit to be a "greatest hit." To do this, click on the limit's "show" link and then click "nominate limit". You can undo your nomination by clicking "recant nomination". When a limit receives enough nominations, it will automatically be added to the "greatest hits" list as long as it is less than four years old.

What's the "nomhash" XML tag?

This tag is automatically generated by the site and is used to communicate with the database about the limit's "Greatest Hits" status. It can safely be ignored and it is not necessary to include it in your XML data file.

About Plots

Why can't I see my plot?

1) Did you save and render the plot yet? If you click "show" on a new (or newly copied) plot before you've clicked "save and render", the plot will not generate.

2) Did you input your axes limits correctly? Axes limits must be integers. A common error is mixing up the maximum and minimum y axis limit--remember that a larger negative exponent yields a smaller absolute number!

3) It's possible that the part of the website that does the plotting has crashed. If this happens, the site admins are automatically notified so that the error can be fixed quickly.

Can I make an exact copy of an existing plot?

Yes. Simply click the "copy" link next to the plot on the "plots" page. This will create an exact copy of the plot with the name " < plotname > copy".


Does DMTools support indirect dark matter detection limits?

DMTools does not yet support indirect limits. However, we are working on including them and we hope to support them in the near future.

Can I use what I've made in DMTools in a publication?

Yes, as long as you include a citation to the website.

I don't see my question here!

Feel free to contact us here so we can answer your question and add it to this list.

© 2013 by Anand Desai and Alex Moskowitz
Header Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration
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