Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Mathematical Reviews

Mathematical Reviews

Ask a question about 'Mathematical Reviews'
Start a new discussion about 'Mathematical Reviews'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
Mathematical Reviews is a journal and online database published by the American Mathematical Society
American Mathematical Society
The American Mathematical Society is an association of professional mathematicians dedicated to the interests of mathematical research and scholarship, which it does with various publications and conferences as well as annual monetary awards and prizes to mathematicians.The society is one of the...

 (AMS) that contains brief synopses (and occasionally evaluations) of many articles in mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, statistics
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....

 and theoretical computer science
Theoretical computer science
Theoretical computer science is a division or subset of general computer science and mathematics which focuses on more abstract or mathematical aspects of computing....



The journal was founded by Otto E. Neugebauer
Otto E. Neugebauer
Otto Eduard Neugebauer was an Austrian-American mathematician and historian of science who became known for his research on the history of astronomy and the other exact sciences in antiquity and into the Middle Ages...

 in 1940 as an alternative to the German journal Zentralblatt für Mathematik. The goal was to give reviews of every mathematical research publication. As of November 2007, the Mathematical Reviews database contained information on over 2.2 million articles. The authors of reviews are volunteers, usually chosen by the editors because of some expertise in the area of the article. It and Zentralblatt für Mathematik are the only comprehensive resources of this type. (The Mathematics section of Referativny Zhurnal
Referativny Zhurnal
Referativny Zhurnal is a Russian scientific journal dedicated to announcements, summary, and review of scientific information. It is published by VINITI since 1952. Every year there are 28 volumes, 224 issues in total...

is available only in Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 and is smaller in scale and difficult to access.) Often reviews give detailed summaries of the contents of the paper, sometimes with critical comments by the reviewer and references to related work. However, reviewers are not encouraged to criticize the paper, because the author does not have an opportunity to respond. The author's summary may be quoted when it is not possible to give an independent review, or when the summary is deemed adequate by the reviewer or the editors. Only bibliographic information may be given when a work is in an unusual language, when it is a brief paper in a conference volume, or when it is outside of the primary scope of the Reviews. Originally the reviews were written in several languages, but later an "English only" policy was introduced. Selected reviews (called "featured reviews") were also published as a book by the AMS, but this program has been discontinued.

Online database

In 1980, all the contents of Mathematical Reviews since 1940 were integrated into an electronic searchable database. Eventually the contents became part of MathSciNet, which, along with reviews, also has now citation information (albeit primarily limited to other articles in MathSciNet). Mathematical Reviews and MathSciNet have become an essential tool for researchers in the mathematical sciences.

Unlike most other abstracting databases, MathSciNet takes care to identify authors properly. Its author search allows the user to find publications associated with a given author record, even if multiple authors have exactly the same name. Math Reviews personnel will sometimes even contact authors to ensure that the database has correctly attributed their papers. On the other hand, the general search menu uses string matching in all fields, including the author field. This functioning is needed for the database to access some old reviews (before 1940) which have not yet been completely integrated and thus cannot be found by searching for the author first.

MathSciNet provides BibTeX
BibTeX is reference management software for formatting lists of references. The BibTeX tool is typically used together with the LaTeX document preparation system...

 entries with all reviews, and its abbreviations of journal titles have become a de facto standard in mathematical publishing. Both Mathematical Reviews and Zentralblatt für Mathematik use the Mathematics Subject Classification
Mathematics Subject Classification
The Mathematics Subject Classification is an alphanumerical classification scheme collaboratively produced by staff of and based on the coverage of the two major mathematical reviewing databases, Mathematical Reviews and Zentralblatt MATH...

 codes for organizing their reviews.


MathSciNet contains information on about 2 million articles from 1,900 mathematical journals, many of them abstracted "cover-to-cover". In addition, reviews or bibliographical information on selected articles is included from many engineering
Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of...

, computer science
Computer science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

 and other applied
Applied mathematics
Applied mathematics is a branch of mathematics that concerns itself with mathematical methods that are typically used in science, engineering, business, and industry. Thus, "applied mathematics" is a mathematical science with specialized knowledge...

 journals abstracted by MathSciNet. The selection is done by the editors of the Mathematical Reviews. The editors accept suggestions to cover additional journals, but do not reconsider missing articles for inclusion.http://www.ams.org/mathscinet/help/FAQ.html#missing

Mathematical Citation Quotient

Mathematical Reviews computes a "mathematical citation quotient" (MCQ) for each journal. Like the impact factor
Impact factor
The impact factor, often abbreviated IF, is a measure reflecting the average number of citations to articles published in science and social science journals. It is frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field, with journals with higher impact factors deemed...

, this is a numerical statistic that measures the frequency of citations to a journal. The MCQ is calculated by counting the total number of citations into the journal that have been indexed by Mathematical Reviews over a five year period, and dividing this total by the total number of papers published by the journal during that five year period.

For the period 2004–2008, the top five journals in Mathematical Reviews by MCQ were:
  1. Acta Numerica
    Acta Numerica
    Acta Numerica is a mathematics journal publishing research on numerical analysis. It was established in 1992 to publish widely-accessible summaries of recent advances in the field....

    – MCQ 3.43
  2. Annals of Mathematics
    Annals of Mathematics
    The Annals of Mathematics is a bimonthly mathematical journal published by Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study. It ranks amongst the most prestigious mathematics journals in the world by criteria such as impact factor.-History:The journal began as The Analyst in 1874 and was...

    – MCQ 2.97
  3. Journal of the American Mathematical Society
    Journal of the American Mathematical Society
    The Journal of the American Mathematical Society , is a quarterly, peer reviewed, mathematical journal published by the American Mathematical Society. The editors are Weinan E, Sergey Fomin, Gregory Lawler, John W. Morgan, Karl Rubin, and Terence Tao...

    – MCQ 2.92
  4. Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics
    Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics
    Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics is a scientific journal which is associated with the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. It publishes original research originating from or solicited by the institute, typically in the fields of applied mathematics, mathematical analysis, or...

    – MCQ 2.43
  5. Publications Mathématiques de l'IHÉS
    Publications Mathématiques de l'IHÉS
    Publications Mathématiques de l'IHÉS is a mathematical journal. It is published by Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, with the help of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique....

    – MCQ 2.33

The "All Journal MCQ" is computed by considering all the journals indexed by Mathematical Reviews as a single meta-journal, which makes it possible to determine if a particular journal has a higher or lower MCQ than average. The 2009 All Journal MCQ is 0.28.

See also

  • Referativnyi Zhurnal, published in former Soviet Union
    Soviet Union
    The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

     and now in Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

  • Zentralblatt MATH
    Zentralblatt MATH
    Zentralblatt MATH is a service providing reviews and abstracts for articles in pure and applied mathematics, published by Springer Science+Business Media. It is a major international reviewing service which covers the entire field of mathematics...

    , published in Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    Inspec is a major indexing database of scientific and technical literature, published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology , and formerly by the Institution of Electrical Engineers , one of the IET's forerunners....

  • Web of Science
    Web of Science
    ISI Web of Knowledge is an academic citation indexing and search service, which is combined with web linking and provided by Thomson Reuters. Web of Knowledge coverage encompasses the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities. It provides bibliographic content and the tools to access, analyze,...

  • IEEE Xplore
    IEEE Xplore
    IEEE Xplore is a scholarly research database that indexes, abstracts, and provides full-text for articles and papers on computer science, electrical engineering and electronics. The database mainly covers material from IEEE and IET. The IEEE Xplore database contains over two million...

  • Current Index to Statistics
    Current Index to Statistics
    The Current Index to Statistics is an online database published by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Statistical Association that contains bibliographic data of articles in statistics, probability, and related fields....

External links