Summary: Page 1
INTERNATIONAL MATHEMATICAL UNION
Best Current Practices for Journals
(endorsed by the IMU General Assembly 16 August 2010)
In 2004, the CEIC produced a document listing various recommendations relating to the changing
environment of peer-reviewed journals and digital distribution of research in its various stages. Now,
in 2010, we wish to return to that document and offer more details on how journals can best serve the
mathematical community. Specifically, this document focuses on how a good mathematics journal
should be organized and managed.
Journals remain one of the most important tools of mathematical research and communication. A
good journal adds value to the manuscripts submitted to it by providing:
quality control: The peer-review process evaluates and aims, inasmuch as possible, to certify the
correctness, importance, novelty, and clarity of a paper.
improving content and presentation: Journal referees, editors, and publishers improve the quality of
published manuscripts and provide feedback to their authors.
dissemination: Journals help to categorize the literature and help authors, readers, librarians,
historians, and others to find relevant works.
archiving: Journals ensure that papers remain accessible. They help establish priority and certify the
historical record. In addition, they provide tags such as volume numbers and document identifiers
that can be cited and linked to.