ISSN 2167-5163

Understanding the MR Citation Database

Mathematical Reviews serves the research and scholarly community with information and tools on the mathematical sciences research literature. MR has been carefully creating and collecting information for over 65 years and has developed an extensive database of the mathematics literature. Over the past few years, MR has added linked reference lists for items in the Mathematical Reviews Database from a selected collection of reference list journals. These MR citations are a great discovery tool and allow researchers to trace the development of mathematical results through a path of forward and backward citations.

The number of citations in the MR Database now allows for the creation of a separate MR Citation Database. Based on this Citation Database, Mathematical Reviews introduced citation tools, available to users of MathSciNet. These tools provide the community the opportunity to obtain valuable additional information about the mathematics literature.

From the start, it is important that users of these tools understand the following:

• The current underlying Citation Database comprises journal article citations from reference lists in a selected collection of reference list journals.
• For many reference list journals, only citations made in articles published during the period 2000-present are included in the database. For some reference list journals the period covers 1997 – present.
• The Citation Database only includes citations from the reference list journals that are matched to items in the MR Database. Unmatched reference list entries are not included in any author or journal citation count.
• Although some consideration to covering mathematics broadly is factored into the journal selection process not all disciplines are covered equally.
• The current journals forming the core of the Citation Database are indexed cover-to-cover by MR. As a result statistics generated from the MR Citation Database may vary considerably from those found using other interdisciplinary citation sources.
• The fact that the Citation Database is primarily constructed from citations made in the years 2000-present has natural time dependent consequences on author counts.

The Citation Database tools allow users to discover the ten most cited papers of individual authors and see citation information for individual journals. Unlike other citation counts, the information provided from the MR Citation Database is specific to mathematics. It also leverages the unique author identification and careful bibliographic work of MR – as a result, the citation information is of the highest quality. The MR Citation Database tools also offer the community additional confirmation of widely held opinions about the mathematical literature. The journal tool confirms the permanence and staying power of mathematical research and the author tool provides further understanding of the interconnectivity and interdependence of mathematical researchers.

American Mathematical Society