Where do I send this?!?! I have found myself working with this question often, lately, which is great! Finding a good problem is hard, and figuring out the math is hard; often it is actually impossible, as when you try to prove something that is not true (ask me how I know!). When you do find something true, and manage to prove it, writing it up is also incredibly time consuming, but somehow you manage. Great! You have produced a manuscript! This is a great victory! But still, here you are, wondering what to do with it.
In my first projects, I worked with more experienced researchers, who came up with good journal ideas and kindly took that part of the process out of my hands. Also, I had some papers that came out of workshops with proceedings volumes, so the question of where to submit was easily answered. More recently, I have been working on a wider variety of projects, alone and with other early-career researchers, meaning none of us are quite sure what to do once the manuscript is finished. How do I know what journals are reputable and rigorously peer-reviewed? How do I know what journals will impress people reading my CV enough that they will offer me a job or approve my tenure application? There are a lot Google-able answers for these first two questions; here are some nice ones I found on the question of reputability and comparing good journals.
The harder questions for me are: What are good journals for smaller results? Expository work? Research with undergraduate students?
Smaller results often fit well in regional/single university-based journals. For example, my math brother Jeremy Muskat and I have a paper in the Rocky Mountain Journal of Mathematics. I had a really wonderful experience working with David Grant, an editor for RMJM. Others I have heard are good things about:
- Illinois Mathematical Journal
- Pacific Journal of Mathematics
- Michigan Mathematical Journal
- Indiana University Mathematics Journal
- Missouri Journal of Mathematical Sciences
My colleague Katie Haymaker and I recently wrote a mostly expository article, something I had been wanting to do for a long time. In the process of searching for the right venue, I discovered many journals I hadn’t known about. These journals aim at many different audience levels, so it is worth looking at their recent papers to get a feeling which one is right for a given paper. At the middle/high-school level, the Girls’ Angle Bulletin is great (email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about submitting). The MAA publishes two college-level expository journals that I knew very little about before this search. The College Mathematics Journal publishes articles a really interesting array on topics relevant to the college mathematics curriculum, especially the first two years. They seem to be perhaps aimed more at the educator than the student. On the other hand, Math Horizons specifically targets these students: “We target undergraduate students who are enthusiastic about mathematics and have some mathematical training, but may be early in her or his college career. Imagine writing the article for a math-loving first-year student who is midway through the calculus sequence.” For those aiming for graduate students and PhDs in all areas, the Notices of the AMS accepts article submissions, including for the “WHAT IS…?” column. For higher-level, more focused expository writing, here is a nice MathOverflow thread which gives many options. I notice that the thread mentions the above-listed Rocky Mountain Journal of Mathematics, and some of the other smaller journals also publish expository work.
Other great expository journals:
- The American Mathematical Monthly
- Mathematics Magazine
- Mathematical Gazette
- The Mathematical Intelligencer
Work involving or written by students can be hard to place. These projects may not be advanced enough to work in most research journals, but may be substantial and well-crafted enough that they really cry out to be published. Ursula Whichter also wrote a great post about publishing work involving undergraduates.
Involve is a journal specifically for papers that involve undergraduate or graduate students. For really outstanding undergraduate projects, that may or may not involve any new results, there are a few journals for papers fully written by undergraduates: SIAM Undergraduate Research Online and Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Mathematics Journal. Also, many links on this page are good resources, though not all are still active.
More ideas? Other good venues for publishing work that is a little different? Let us know in the comments!