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Mathematical Publishing: A Guidebook

Steven G. Krantz
American Mathematical Society
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
[Reviewed by
Underwood Dudley
, on

Publish or perish. We all know about perishing (or, if we don't, it's easy to learn) but publishing is another matter. Here is a splendid book that tells all.

And I do mean all. The book has 115 sections (and eight appendices, and a 30-page glossary, and a bibliography) some of whose titles are

  • Publishing in a Journal
  • Publishing a Book
  • Electronic Publishing
  • How to State a Theorem
  • How to Write an Abstract
  • Who Should Become an Editor?
  • Dealing with Authors
  • Who Holds the Copyright?
  • Galley Proofs and Page Proofs
  • The Organization of a Paper
  • Ode to MathSciNet

etc., etc., etc.

The author knows whereof he speaks. He has written dozens of books and papers and has edited widely. His book is full of good and specific advice and should be read by anyone who is embarking on a career in academic mathematics. Even those of us whose careers are well underway (or almost over) can learn new and interesting things from it. Do you know what a Smyth-sewn book is?

He writes with clarity and wit. Even readers who have no need of instruction can read the book with pleasure, because good writing is a pleasure to read.

Another reason for having to book is to be able to look at it again twenty or thirty years from now. I'm sure that mathematical publishing then will be different in many unforeseeable ways, and the book will let us recall how things were done in the good old days.

Though the author tells us how to state a theorem, he does not go into the subject of how to prove one. Perhaps in the second edition?

Underwood Dudley has retired from DePauw University and is now living in Florida.
  • Creating graphics for use in AMS books and journals

Introductory thoughts

  • Why publish?
  • What do I publish?
  • Different types of publishing

Publishing an article or paper

  • Journal publishing
  • How to write an article or paper

Publication of a book

  • Your magnum opus
  • How to write a book

Publishing personnel

  • The people in publishing
  • The role of book editors
  • The nitty gritty of editing

Parts of the publishing process

  • The manuscript
  • What happens to your book at the publishing house

Legal matters

  • Copyright and author rights
  • Details of the book contract

Closing thoughts

  • Putting the scholarly life into perspective
  • Copy editor's/proofreader's marks
  • Use of copy editor's marks
  • Specialized mathematics symbols
  • Alternative mathematical notations
  • \TEX, Postscript®, Acrobat®, and related internet sites (plus tips on now to ftp)
  • The AMS consent to publish agreement
  • The AMS guidelines for journal editors
  • Glossary
  • References
  • Index