The Notices welcomes unsolicited manuscripts,
Letters to the Editor, and comments and suggestions from readers.
The following information for Notices authors appears each year in the
June/July issue. Visit the Contact the Notices page for contact details.
Information for Notices Authors
Notices welcomes unsolicited articles
for consideration for publication, as well as proposals for such
articles. The following provides general guidelines for writing Notices articles and preparing them for
submission. Contact information for Notices editors and staff may be found on the Notices website, http://www.ams.org/notices.
The Notices publishes articles that have broad appeal for a diverse audience with many different types of readers: graduate students, academic mathematicians, industrial mathematicians, researchers in mathematically based fields, and amateur enthusiasts. The paper edition of the Notices is sent to
the approximately 33,000 members of the AMS, most of whom are professional mathematicians; about 25,000 of them reside in North
America. Because the Notices is accessible for free over the Internet, the number of readers is much larger than the AMS membership. All readers may be assumed to be interested in mathematics research, but they are not all active researchers.
Notices Feature Articles
Topics. The Notices seeks exceptional articles that report on major new developments in mathematics, or that describe episodes from mathematics history that have connection to current research in the field. We also welcome articles discussing aspects of the mathematics profession, such as grant programs, the job market, professional opportunities for mathematicians, publishing, electronic communications, etc. We are also interested in articles
about mathematics education at all levels. We publish reviews of books, films, plays, software, and mathematical tools.
Reaching the audience.
Our goal is to educate the readership about new developments in mathematics and in the mathematics profession, as well as other matters of interest to the working mathematician. Each article is expected to
have a large target audience of readers, perhaps 5,000 of the 33,000
subscribers. Authors must therefore write their articles for nonexperts
rather than for experts or would-be experts. In particular, the
mathematics articles in the Notices
are expository. A Notices article should have an introduction that anyone can understand, and almost all readers should be able to understand the key points of the article.
Structure of the article. Most feature articles, including those on mathematics,
are expected to be of long-term value and should be written as such.
Ideally each article should put its topic in a context, providing some
history and other orientation for the reader, and, as necessary,
relating the subject matter to things that readers are likely to
understand. In most cases, articles should progress to dealing with
contemporary matters, not giving only historical material. The articles
that are received the best by readers tend to relate different areas of
mathematics to each other.
By design the Notices is partly magazine and partly
journal, and authors' expository styles should take this into account.
For example, many readers want to understand the mathematics articles
without undue effort and without consulting other sources.
Format and length. Mathematics feature articles in the Notices are normally six to nine pages,
sometimes a little longer. Shorter articles are more likely to be read
fully than are longer articles. The first page is 400 or 500 words, and
subsequent pages are about 800 words. From this one should subtract an
allowance for figures, photos, and other llustrations, and an
appropriate allowance for any displayed equations and any
bibliography. The Notices is especially interested in the creative use of graphics and color and encourages illustrations. Articles on professional topics are typically three to five pages, as are book reviews.
The Notices aims to publish exceptionally well written articles that appeal to a broad audience of mathematicians. Highly technical, specialized articles with a great deal of notation, insider jargon, and a long list of references are not suitable for the Notices. Some articles will be rejected by the editors without any external review. Other articles will be carefully refereed, and then a detailed editorial process will be used to bring the article up to the Notices standard. There will be considerable give and take between the author(s) and the editor, and it may take several drafts to get the article right.
The "WHAT IS...?" Column
Nearly every issue of the Notices carries an installment of the "WHAT IS...?" column. The purpose of the column is
to provide brief, nontechnical descriptions of mathematical objects in
use in current research. The target audience for the columns is
first-year graduate students.
IS...?" column provides an expository description of a single
mathematical object being used in contemporary research. Thus "WHAT
IS M-Theory?" would be too broad, but "WHAT IS a Brane?"
would be appropriate; ideally, "WHAT IS a Brane?" would give a
flavor of what M-theory is.
The writing should
be nontechnical and informal. Narrative description conveying main ideas should be favored over notation-heavy precision.
There is a strict limit of two Notices pages (1,400 words with no picture,
or 1,200 words with one picture). A list of "Further Reading"
should contain no more than three references. Inquiries and comments
about the "WHAT IS...?" column are welcome and may be sent to