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Mathematics & Statistics

General subject guide for mathematics & statistics students, faculty, and staff at JMU.

About MathSciNet

MathSciNet from the American Mathematical Society is the leading mathematics indexing and abstracting database. It provides abstracts from more than 3100 mathematical journals and many thousands of books, conference proceedings, theses, and technical reports indexes. MathSciNet goes beyond simple bibliographic information, it also incorporates the content of the American Mathematical Society's Mathematical Reviews. These article reviews are written by experts in the article's mathematical content and exist for a significant percentage of the papers in the database, including many from as far back as 1940s.

How to Search MathSciNet

Searching MathSciNet is very similar to using advanced searches in library catalogs or databases. It provides users the ability to search publications, authors, journals, or citations. What sets MathSciNet's search apart from many other databases, is its unique identification of authors and articles, and its use of the MSC (mathematical subject classification) system.

MathSciNet publication search interface featuring 4 entry boxes with drop downs, reading Author, Title, MSC Primary, and Anywhere from top to bottom. Under the search boes are choices of time frame, entire database, = year blank, or year range: blank to blank, publication type, all, books, journals, or proceedings, and review format, pdf or html.

Upon visiting MathSciNet you will be presented with an advanced search which filtering options of publication type and time. The advanced search also for many fields such as the familiar, such as Author, Title, Journal, and Institution. It will also for searching less familiar fields like MSC Primary which lets you use MSC category values to search for articles by subject; MR Number which lets you search for already known items using unique id of articles in the database; and Reviewer which finds all articles reviewed by a person. MR Number can be particular useful because it allows you to note an article's ID for easy access to the article at a future date.

MathSciNet Author search interface with a label of Author Name or MR Author ID above a search box reading Noether, E

MathSciNet has also made major progress in solving a major problem in database searching: telling author's with the same name apart from one another. MathSciNet accomplishes this by assigning unique identification numbers to each author. You can search for a specific author by clicking the Author tab on the MathSciNet home page and then use their name (last name then first name) or their ID number (if known). Clicking on an author's name elsewhere in the database will also bring you to their MathSciNet profile. If you are the author of a mathematics paper indexed in MathSciNet, you will also have an author profile which you can log into and add a photo too or otherwise edit.

MathSciNet Journals search interface with a label of Journal above an empty search box below which reads Enter a journal abbreviation, journal name, partial name, or an ISSN

The Journals tab provides the ability to search for publications by name or ISSN. The results link to a journal profiles with information about the publisher, previous journal names, dates of publication, and how it is indexed in MathSciNet. You will also find links to issues and articles, citation data, and RSS feeds you can subscribe to which will alert you when MathSciNet adds new articles from the journal.

MathSciNet Author Citations Search interface featuring a label of Author Name above a blank search box

The Citations tab provides searches of citation information for authors, journals, subjects, and years. There are also top 10 lists of the most cited journals by year.

Finding Connections in MathSciNet

MathSciNet also offers a set of unique tools you can use to explore the connections between the authors in the database.

Mathscinet collabroation distance search with two author name search fields with Hilbert, David in one and Erdos, Paul in the one with a use Erdos button next to it. There is a search button at the bottom

Mathscinet collaboration distance search for Erdos and Hilbert result. It reads MR Erdos Number=4  David Hilbert coauthored with Richard Courant MR006539 Richard Courant coauthored with Kurt Otto Friedrichs MR0029615  Kurt Otto Friedrichs coauthored with Harold Nathaniel Shapiro MR0108711 Harold Nathaniel Shapiro coauthored with Paul Erdős MR0097361


The first tool, available through MathSciNet's free tools and is called collaboration distance. Enterthe name of any two mathematicians and the database will find the shortest distance, measure by co-authored papers, between them. Since most people will use this to determine Erdős numbers they even kindly put in an Erdős button.


MathSciNet profile page for Paul Erdos. It has a photo To the right of the photo Erdos, Paul, Website:, MR Author ID: 189017, Earliest Indexed Publication: 1934, Total Publications: 1445, Total Related Publications: 199, Total Citations: 16562, and Published as: Erdos, P. (4). At the bottom is a box with links to publications, related publications, reviews, refine search, co-authors, collaboration distance, mathematics geneology project, mactutor history of mathematics archive, and citations.


You can also explore connections through an author's MathSciNet profile page.


Co-Author list for Paul Erdos with columns title Profile Name, Published As, Earliest publication, # publications, and # citations. It was sorted by # of citations. Authors listed are Alon, Noga, Lovasz, Laszlo, and Bollobas, Bella.


All you have to do is click on co-authors. Then you can sort the list of all of the mathematician's co-authors by name, publication count, citation count, or earliest publication.


Mathematics Genealogy for Paul Erdos. It has Paul (Pal) Erods at the top with links to a biography and mathscinet. Then has information about Erdos's degree: Ph.D. Eötvös Loránd University 1934 Hungary Dissertation: Über die Primzahlen gewisser arithmetischer Reihen Advisor: Leopold (Lipót) Fejér . And a list of Descendants. Bollobás, Béla Eötvös Loránd University 1967, Donat, Bonifac École Normale Supérieure Polytechnique Antsiranana 1967, Fodor, Géza Hungarian Academy of Sciences 1954, and Kruskal, Joseph Princeton University 1954


In many cases the profile page also provides a link to an author's mathematical genealogy from the Mathematical Genealogy Project. From there you can explore student advisor connections of over 200,000 mathematicians, with information often going back centuries.