Skip to content

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. These instructions are intended for The American Mathematical Monthly, The College Mathematics Journal, and Mathematics Magazine.

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.

We ask referees to proofread the articles and notes to help ensure that the math is accurate. However, it is the author, not the referee 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.

Template for a Thorough Referee Report for Early Career Mathematicians

Elements of a thorough referee report include the following.

  1. Summary - Here you should provide a brief summary of what the article is about, and its relationship to the literature.
  2. General Remarks - Here is where you include a short paragraph or two with your general take on the paper.
    • Do you think it is interesting?
    • What is good about the paper?
    • Is it appropriate for the journal to which it was submitted or another journal?
    • Is it too long?
    • Is it well-written?
    • Is the work sufficiently original to merit publication?
    • Are you recommending it for acceptance or not?
  3. Main Suggestions - In this section you should describe any big picture items you would like to see fixed.
  4. Minor Improvements - Collected here are some suggestions for minor improvements to the paper listed by (page, paragraph, line), as well as some other comments that the authors may wish to address prior to publication.
  5. References (optional)

Reviewing Schedules

Time for Reviewing

We ask that you send us your referee report within six weeks. If you need more time, please contact the Publications Department (

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 Publications Department know ( know so we can mark your request in the Editorial Manager System.