I am a masters student, and am currently writing an expository article on an area of applied maths for a class project. I plan to work on it for several more months. One of my major goals is to improve my expository writing skills, and I thought one way to achieve this might be to try and submit this article to a journal for peer review. The topic is also of significant interest in several fields.

I have checked and Bulletin of the AMS and Notices of the AMS have both published work similar in flavor to what I have in mind. However, all of the articles I have read from these journals so far were authored by senior professors. I'm not sure if this because articles from established experts are preferred, or if it's because more junior people may have an incentive to focus on their original research rather than expository writing. Would it be pointless to submit as a student? If so, are there other venues that could be reasonable?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The question is maybe more suitable for academia.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$ Oct 30 '18 at 18:23
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ However, it may be more savvy to send your work to less prestigious journal. You increase the chances to get it published, which I guess is more important for you at the moment that publishing on a top journal. $\endgroup$ Oct 30 '18 at 18:27
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ No: I think you are correct that expository articles in the Bulletin are only from established experts. See mathoverflow.net/q/15366/454 for journals that accept expository articles in mathematics. $\endgroup$ Oct 30 '18 at 23:22
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In principle, the Bulletin of the AMS should be willing to consider any expository essay. However, in practice the articles are usually written by current experts on the most recent advances in a particular area. If you submit it and the editors decide your article is not suitable, then you should get a quick response from them (without having the paper refereed). Otherwise, they'll send it out to be refereed. $\endgroup$
    – Deane Yang
    Oct 31 '18 at 14:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MaurizioMoreschi, perhaps in this case I would agree that Bull. AMS is probably not right for what this student has in mind... However in general I strongly disagree that it is more important to get published quickly, than get published in a top journal. One article in a top journal is often the difference between getting a job and not getting a job -- and so I would say one should always aim as high as possible... $\endgroup$
    – Nick Gill
    Nov 1 '18 at 16:24

There is another venue for this sort of work: The Graduate Journal of Mathematics. It publishes papers by graduate students or papers that would be of interest to graduate students. So, expository papers can be a good fit, especially if they contain something new and interesting (e.g. a list of open problems, a worked example, a new way to prove an old result, etc).

The normal thing for you to do, as an author, would be to check out the journal website and see if there is an editor on the editorial board who looks like they know a bit about the field. That editor would probably know potential referees. If you can't find an editor in applied math, you could send it to me (I am an editor), and I could probably find a referee (with a bit more effort).

You could also post your preprint on arxiv.


Any good journal is supposed to evaluate papers according their quality, not the author's affiliation. The cases when papers of students were accepted in top journals are known. But Bull AMS is a bad example: it does not publish research papers; it publishes surveys.

  • $\begingroup$ Out of curiosity, if this is the case, then why isn't the process double blind, where the author's affiliation is not known to reviewers? $\endgroup$
    – student123
    Oct 31 '18 at 18:16

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.