Updated July 2012
The Mathematical Reviews DatabaseThe Mathematical Reviews (MR) Database contains bibliographic data and reviews of published mathematical research from 1940 to the present. Bibliographic data for new publications (including journal articles, books, collections and other published material) are added to the Database on an ongoing basis. Most of these items are sent out for peer review, or are reviewed by summary.
Information in the MR Database is published in MathSciNet, as well as in the paper publications Mathematical Reviews and Current Mathematical Publications. For more information see the Editorial Statement.
The content of a reviewWhat is a review? A review should primarily help the reader decide whether or not to read the original item. The review may range in length from a few lines to about 600 words. In most cases the review should state the main results, together with enough notation to make the statements comprehensible to someone already familiar with the field. The main ideas of the proof should be sketched when this is feasible. If the results are technical, requiring extensive notation or elaborate formulas, it is preferable to describe them with a few well-chosen and relatively nontechnical sentences. Helpful comments that evaluate the item or connect it with related items or approaches are welcome. Please proofread your review carefully (see more about review format below).
Reviews as described above, which benefit from independent reviewer expertise, are of the greatest value to the community.
Instead of a review of this kind, one of the following options may be appropriate in a few cases:
Evaluative reviews. Your review may include a positive or negative evaluation of the item. Negative critical remarks should be objective, precise, documented and expressed in good taste. Vague criticism offends authors and fails to enlighten the reader. If you conclude that the item duplicates earlier work, you must cite specific references. If you think that the item is in error, the errors should be described precisely. You should take into account that the MR Database does not include author responses to critical reviews.
Book reviews. Important new books deserve careful reviews.
a good review does not need to be very long; less than 600 words is
often sufficient. You should try to limit your review to a
maximum of 1500 words. We understand that such a review takes time to
detailed review is sometimes appropriate even if the book contains few
new results; for example, if it is an expository survey of a field in
there is considerable interest, many readers will use your review to
whether to consult the book. The same is true of expository
Reviewing schedulesTime for reviewing. Your promptness in returning reviews can noticeably improve the timeliness of the MR Database. It is expected that you will spend no more than six weeks completing the review of an item. We understand that this may not be enough time, depending on the length and complexity of the item and your other commitments. It is understood that reviewers holding multiple items will require additional time to complete the reviews. If we are sending you too many items, or too many at one time, please let us know.
Reminder notices. If you have held an item for about two months, a first reminder will be sent to you. If you receive a reminder notice and you decide that you cannot finish the reviews of some of the items that you have, please let us know immediately. MR will transfer the items to another reviewer. Books must be returned to MR to allow this transfer to another reviewer.
Transfer of items. We may send you an item in an inappropriate field or language. We may send you more items than you can conveniently handle at one time, because of other demands on your time. You may feel that you cannot be objective reviewing the work of someone in close "proximity" to yourself, such as a close colleague or a spouse. (Asking an author or co-author of an item to write a review of that item is always an error on our part.) In cases like these, please inform MR as soon as possible for transfer to another reviewer. No explanation is necessary; however, the editors always find it useful if you can provide a short explanation and we appreciate your suggestions for alternative reviewers. If the item is a book, please return the book to us for reassignment.
Transfer to a colleague. If you think that a particular item could be better handled by one of your colleagues, you may transfer it to that person even if he or she is not a regular reviewer for Mathematical Reviews. If you do so, please let us know at once, giving the complete name and address of your colleague so that we may record the transfer in our files.
Becoming inactive. At your request, we can make you "inactive" as a reviewer and stop sending you items for review until a fixed date, or until you tell us that you are ready to review again. Such a request should be sent to our Reviewer Services Department (email@example.com).
Reviews are submitted using the MR Reviewer Home. Please Sign In, so that you are then connected with all your reviewer data.
Format for electronically submitted reviews. LaTeX is the typesetting language used in the MR Database. However, if your review does not contain mathematical symbols, knowledge of LaTeX is not required to submit your review electronically. Many reviewers find that knowing simple LaTeX such as $x$ and $x^2$ is sufficient. Click here for the MR Reviewer Home. Once you Sign In to the MR Reviewer Home, you will be connected with your reviewer profile, including all the review items for which you have not yet submitted a review.
Accuracy. Ambiguities in the manuscript or notational complexities can lead to the introduction of errors during the editorial process. We strive to keep such errors to a minimum, but we need your help. Please submit your reviews in final form. Always proofread your review before submitting it. This is especially important if someone else has keyboarded the final copy of your review. The MR Reviewer Home offers you a PDF preview that you can proofread for accuracy, including the accuracy of your LaTeX encoding.
Languages. We ask that reviews be written in English. If you
propose using an
unedited summary, there is no need to translate it.
Subject classification of reviews. The data submission page on the MR Reviewer Home asks for your suggestions for the 5-character classifications of the item being reviewed, according to the Mathematics Subject Classification (MSC). We value your suggestions, especially in completing partial classifications and correcting errors, because you will have read the item more carefully and possess more expertise than the editors.
Change of address or name. Please inform our Reviewer Services Department (firstname.lastname@example.org) at once of any change in your address (paper or email) or name. This will prevent the loss of review material and will save time and money.
Reviewing preferences. When you first became a reviewer, you indicated to us your reviewing interests and language skills. If we are sending you inappropriate items, or if your interests change, please let us know your current reviewing interests. This can be done using the MR Reviewer Home, by clicking "Change My Reviewer Info" after signing in.
When to keep the original item. Items sent to you for review may be retained (for your personal use only) once you have reviewed them.
Recommending new reviewers. New reviewers are frequently enlisted on the recommendation of a current reviewer. Your suggestions are very welcome. A potential reviewer should ordinarily have already published reviewable work. Exceptions are made in the case of strongly recommended recent Ph.D.'s, especially if they can offer combinations that we need of expertise in certain fields and languages (our shortage of Russian-reading and Chinese-reading reviewers is chronic).
Reviews in other publications. You may find yourself asked to write a review of the same book or paper for another publication. In general, the community is best served by reviews written independently. If you have already been asked by another publication to review an item, please let us know and we will transfer it to another reviewer.
Write to us. We invite all reviewers to write to our Reviewer
Services Department (email@example.com)
with their questions, complaints, or special requests. We are keenly
that MR depends on its reviewers for its existence and we welcome their
correspondence—all of which will be read, carefully considered and,
appropriate, answered. (Note that MR normally does not accept
requests to review specific items.)
Subscriptions. Any requests for subscriptions to MR Database products or problems with current subscriptions should be addressed to:
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