You are here

Guide for Referees

To download the PDF version, click here.

The MAA has a century-old tradition of publishing highly regarded mathematics journals. Great exposition is our raison d'être; we were founded to provide a home for The American Mathematical Monthly, which is one of the most popular math journals in the world. In addition to The American Mathematical Monthly, the MAA also publishes The College Mathematics Journal, Mathematics Magazine, Math Horizons, and Convergence. These instructions are intended for The American Mathematical Monthly, The College Mathematics Journal, and Mathematics Magazine, which use Editorial Manager to process submissions and track referee reports.

The Board of Governors of the Mathematical Association of America has mandated that our journals use a double‐blind review system.

Refereeing for The American Mathematical Monthly, Mathematics Magazine, and The College Mathematics Journal

We ask that our referees judge papers as exposition rather than research. Our goal is that all articles and notes should be inviting to most readers. That does not mean the level of material is elementary, even advanced articles can be inviting. Making articles inviting usually means aiming them at the right audience, which ought to be mathematicians who are novices in the subject. For example, authors writing about analysis should think about what they would say to the algebraist down the hall or to a graduate student in the program. This is someone who knows mathematics, but needs to be reminded about this subject.

It is our goal to publish articles and notes that are error free and we ask referees to proofread the articles and notes to help ensure that the math is accurate. However, it is the author, not the referees who is ultimately responsible for the content of his/her article. Referees are encouraged to offer constructive suggestions but not to serve as boards of certification or as ghostwriters for careless authors.

Your primary role as a referee is to help the editor determine how to proceed with the manuscript. We ask referees to comment on general problems that might be apparent in an article. However, it is the author’s responsibility to adhere to MAA style and proper usage and grammar. It is the editor's responsibility to reject papers that are seriously flawed.

Reviewing Schedules

Time for Reviewing

We ask that you send us your referee report within eight weeks. If you need more time, please let the managing editor know (

Reminder Notices

If you have received a request but have not responded, we will send you a reminder after seven days and a second reminder after 20 days. After that, you may be un-invited.

If you have received a request and have agreed to review, we will send you a reminder seven days after your due date and a second reminder 20 days after your due date. At that time we may contact you personally or you may be un-invited.

Suggesting Referees

If you are unable to referee please suggest other people whom we could invite.

Becoming Inactive

If you no longer want to referee, please let the managing editor ( know so we can mark your request in the Editorial Manager System.

Using Editorial Manager

Journal Databases

Each journal has their own distinct site to receive and process submissions.

The American Mathematical Monthly Editorial Manager site.

The College Mathematics Journal Editorial Manager site.

Mathematics Magazine Editorial Manager site.

Username and Password

When you choose to register as a referee for a journal, the database will send you a username and password. If you receive an invitation to review, it will have a link which you can click, and it will bypass the login and take you directly to your main menu.

If you do not remember your username or password, contact the Assistant Managing Editor ( with your name in Editorial Manager and we can send you your access credentials and the system will prompt you to change your password.

Updating Your Information

Once you have logged into Editorial Manager, click on the link, UPDATE MY INFORMATION in the banner at the top left. This will allow you to change your email, your institution, and most importantly, your areas of interest and expertise. Updating your areas of interest and expertise will allow us to send you papers that you are interested in and are in your area of expertise. The areas of interest and expertise use MSC numbers and open a window that allows you to check boxes that apply to your research interest.

Referee Menu

The referee menu is simple to use. There is a box called Review Assignments with three action links, New Reviewer Invitations, Pending Assignments, and Completed Assignments.

New Reviewer Invitations is a list of articles you have been invited to review. You can view the submission to decide if you wish to agree to review or decline to review.

Pending Assignments is a list of articles you have agreed to review. You may begin the process of writing comments and you can save your comments without submitting them at that time to the journal office. To submit your review to the journal office you will click "proceed" and a pop-up box will appear that asks you if your report is ready to send to the journal office. If you have not seen that pop-up box, then your report has not been submitted to the journal office.

Completed Assignments is the list of assignments that you have completed.

Confidential Comments to the Editor This box is for messages intended for the editor only.

Comments to the Author are comments for the author on their article.

Declining to Review

If you decline to review an assignment, the assignment will disappear from your New Reviewer Invitation folder. We appreciate any referee suggestions that you have. Questions should be addressed to:

Bonnie Ponce
Assistant Managing Editor