We would like to bring the following message to the attention of IMS members as it may be of interest, especially in view of Peter Hall’s Presidential Address at JSM in August about assessing our professional works.

The International Mathematical Union (IMU) is asking for comments on the possibility of having a ranking scheme for mathematical journals. IMU and the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM) jointly constituted a Working Group to study the issue of whether and how both organizations should go forward with a Ranking of Mathematical Journals. After discussing the report at ICIAM 2011 in Vancouver, IMU and ICIAM decided to start a blog on mathematical journals: http://blog.mathunion.org/rating. Please consider a contribution to the ongoing discussion.

See the message below from the IMU Secretary, Martin Groetschel, to IMU-adhering organizations inviting comments on the possible ranking of mathematical journals:

Dear colleagues,

In implementation of Resolution 18 adopted by the IMU General Assembly in 2010:

“The General Assembly of the IMU asks the EC to create, in cooperation with ICIAM, a Working Group that is charged with considering whether or not a joint ICIAM/IMU method of ranking mathematical journals should be instituted, and what other possible options there may be for protecting against the inappropriate use of impact factors and similar manipulable indices for evaluating research.”

The IMU and the ICIAM have created a joint working group to study the issue. The working group which was composed of N. Joshi, D. N. Arnold, C. Hutchins, J. D. S. Jones, M. MacCallum, P. Michor, S. Mueller, and T. Tang has finished its work and come up with a report that can be found on IMU’s Web page at the following URL: http://www.mathunion.org/publications/reports-recommendations.

The working group examined the issue of why a rating of mathematical journals is desirable and submitted a detailed proposal for IMU/ICIAM journal rating. Before going ahead and taking any further action the IMU and ICIAM want to explore opinions on a larger scale and get as much input as possible from the mathematical community. That is why a “Blog on Mathematical Journals” (http://www.mathunion.org/journals) has been installed.

The blog is moderated by a group of 6 persons (D. Arnold, C. Hutchins, N. Joshi, P. Olver (chair), F. Planchon, T. Tang).

Everyone interested can submit his/her opinion through posting an article (e-mail to: journal.blog@mathunion.org) and/or forwarding a comment (add a comment to a posted article by typing in the “comments” window or sending e-mail to journal.blog@mathunion.org).

Please go the mathematical journals blog and join the discussion of the issue.

IMU and ICIAM particularly ask you to spread the information about the report and blog on mathematical journals widely in your community. Input from a wide range of persons is necessary to discuss this important issue and prepare for the final decision process.

Best regards,

Martin Groetschel, IMU Secretary