Posted on February 27, 2012.
by Jane Holmquist and Andy Shimp
Report from the AMS Library Committee Meeting
The AMS Library Committee met at the Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM) in Boston on Wednesday, January 4, 2012, chaired by Linda Yamamoto. The members of the committee for 2011-12 were: Jonathan Borwein (co-chair, Univ. of Newcastle, Australia), Linda Yamamoto (co-chair, Stanford), Cunera Buys (Northwestern), Kris Fowler (Univ. of Minnesota), Joe Rosenblatt (Univ. of Illinois), Andrew Sills (Georgia Southern Univ.) and Smilka Zdravkovska (AMS).
The three librarian members of the committee (Cunera, Kris, and Linda) attended in person. Since the three faculty members (Jonathan, Joe, and Andrew) did not attend this year’s JMM, the room was set up so they could attend via Skype. Meeting via Skype was a first for the committee and despite some technical difficulties, a success. An additional 16 guests from libraries and publishers were in attendance. Smilka was unable to attend, but there were representatives from the AMS at the meeting.
The committee continued to explore the mandate and name of committee and whether or not they need to be revised. In the past, the work of the committee’s annual meetings focused around particular projects (e.g., surveys of math libraries). In order to carry on such projects in the future, the committee would need to set up mechanisms to collaborate outside the annual in-person meeting, such as meeting via Skype. The committee’s charge can be found at
Beth Ayer (AMS) continues to invite comments from math librarians on the redesigned AMS.org. The website now includes a rotating librarian profile, for which more volunteers are wanted. Carol Hutchins is the first librarian profiled on the redesigned site. It was suggested that a link to the Library Committee’s membership and charge be added to the site.
Carol Hutchins (NYU Courant) encouraged promotion of and participation in IMU/ICIAM’s present effort (at http://blog.mathunion.org ) to elicit feedback about the proposal for a panel to rate math journals by quality, as an expert alternative to bibliometrics such as the Impact Factor.
MathSciNet update (Kathy Wolcott & Norman Richert):
- MathSciNet tutorials http://www.mathscinet.info/index.html;
- A short movie about Math Reviews on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUEOghB3MvM;
- All reference lists from all AMS publications are now in MathSciNet;
- Getting metadata from publishers to speed their preliminary entry into MathSciNet as they move through the regular Math Reviews process, improving current awareness;
- Rolling out an alerting service, tied to a log-in, which will allow saving searches that will run periodically and generate an alert; logged-in user will also be able to add info to own author profile, e.g., email address, URL, photo;
- Rolling out in first quarter: “pairing” to allow user at subscribing institution to register while on campus so they could use MathSciNet on their own device for a month without having to sign in again.
Project Euclid update (Mira Waller):
- Website upgrade will be implemented within 6-8 months, including the ability to export citations in BibTeX; new interface will also include alerting and pairing;
- Shibboleth being implemented.
arXiv update (David Ruddy):
- The transition to “community-supported” economic model is being finalized courtesy of an award from the Simons Foundation; it will be introduced in early 2013; user meetings in 2012 in U.S. and Europe will gather input;
- In an effort to connect pre-prints to the published literature, publishers can currently provide info so DOI shows on arXiv record.
The rest of the meeting was devoted to discussing a variety of issues:
- Increasing online availability of journal back issues;
- Increasing ebook availability of AMS Books;
- AMS is working on monographs (including the backfile) beyond Contemporary Mathematics, which is available now. Many AMS books are already currently indexed in Google Books;
- Funding models for math journals.
Afterwards, about 10 of us went out to a delicious dinner at Legal Seafoods – Copley Place, where a good time was had by all (thanks to Michael Noga (MIT) for coming up with dining options).
Many thanks to Kris Fowler for taking the minutes of the meeting from which I cribbed liberally for this report. The plan is to make the minutes publicly available in future.
One final note: Fellow PAM member Cunera Buys (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Joe Rosenblatt will be taking over as co-chairs of the committee as of February 1, 2012. Other committee members for 2012-13 are Smilka Zdravkovska (AMS), Andrew Sills (Georgia Southern Univ.), Kristine Fowler – (Univ. of Minnesota), J. Parker Ladwig – (Univ. of Notre Dame) and Bob Noel – (Indiana Univ.) JMM 2013 will be held January 9-12 in San Diego, CA.
AMS Library Committee co-chair, 2011-12
Free Texts Available Online
In postings to PAMNET, Thurston Miller and Carol Hutchins noted the availability of two textbooks that can be downloaded for free:
Real Analysis for Graduate Students: Measure and Integration Theory by Richard F. Bass
A soft cover version is available from Amazon.com for $16.95
Introduction to Real Analysis by William Trench
Previously published by Pearson in 2003, the online version has been updated in January 2012.
New AMS Librarian page
The American Mathematical Society has revised ams.org‘s “Information for Librarians” page to make it more useful and interesting to math librarians. The new page includes tools, resources, news, and a math librarian highlight. Carol Hutchins is the first librarian highlighted on the new page. We invite all math librarians to be highlighted in this monthly feature. To volunteer or to recognize a fellow librarian, contact Beth Ayer, the AMS Web Editor: email@example.com.
Mathematicians’ Views on Current Publishing Issues: A Survey of Researchers
At the 2011 Math Roundtable, Kristine Fowler, University of Minnesota, presented findings of a survey she conducted of mathematics faculty on current publishing issues. The refereed article now appears in the Fall 2011 issue of Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship:
Mathematicians’ Views on Current Publishing Issues: A Survey of Researchers
Backlog of Mathematics Research Journals
The AMS published its annual journal backlog report in the November 2011 issue of the Notices of American Mathematical Society. The report covers the median time from acceptance of an article to publication in electronic posting and the print version as well as the editor’s current estimate of waiting time between submission and publication.
IMU Mathematics Library Assistance for Developing Countries
The International Mathematical Union’s Commission for Developing Countries (CDC) announced a program to match donors of mathematical materials with libraries in universities/research institutions in developing countries where there is a need for mathematical research literature. CDC offers limited financial support for shipment costs for individual scientists or institutions wishing to donate books in the mathematical sciences to libraries in developing countries. For additional information, go to http://www.mathunion.org/?id=1009 or contact Library Assistant Scheme, IMU Secretariat Berlin, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is MathJax?
Call for Roundtable Discussion Topics
The Mathematics Roundtable is scheduled to be held at the annual conference in Chicago on Wednesday, July 18 at 10am. We would like to devote this session to group discussion about topics of current interest. We are looking for your ideas as we plan this session. Please contact Jane Holmquist at email@example.com or Andy Shimp at firstname.lastname@example.org.