About the Illinois Journal of Mathematics

History. The Illinois Journal of Mathematics was founded in 1957 by R. Baer, J.L. Doob, A. Taub, G. Whitehead, and O. Zariski, and has quickly established itself as a preeminent journal of mathematics. The inaugural volume featured papers of many of the world's leading figures in the key areas of mathematics at the time: William Feller, Paul Levy, and Paul Malliavin in probability theory; Richard Bellman, R.P. Boas, Jack Hale, and Edwin Hewitt in analysis; Marvin Marcus, Olga Taussky, and Oscar Zariski in algebra; and Paul Erdos, L.J. Mordell, and John Tate in number theory. Since then, the IJM has published many influential papers, most notably the proof of the Four Color Conjecture by K. Appel and W. Haken. Distinguished researchers such as J. Bourgain, A. Calderon, S.S. Chern, H. Kesten, and K. Uhlenbeck have served as Editors of the IJM.

Publishing Philosophy. As a non-profit journal published by the Department of Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the IJM aims to keep its costs low while maintaining the highest production and editorial standards, and to pass the savings on to subscribing institutions. At a subscription price of around 15 cents per page, the IJM ranks among the least expensive journals in mathematics.

Electronic Edition. Since 2001, all articles published in the IJM have also been made available electronically, in pdf and ps formats. Access to this online edition is free and unrestricted; the IJM is one of only a handful of mathematical print journals that do not impose a fee for, or otherwise restrict access to, their online edition. Future plans include digitization of the entire IJM archive.

Editorial Policy. The IJM strives to publish high quality research papers in all areas of mainstream mathematics that are of interest to a substantial number of its readers. Over the past several years, under an expanded Editorial Board, the journal has begun a serious effort to raise the standards of its papers, broaden its coverage, and increase its reputation in order to make it more attractive to authors and subscribers alike. The journal recently implemented a new system of centralized electronic processing of papers, which has resulted in eliminating much of the administrative overhead involved in the traditional processing of papers, reducing the burden on editors, referees, and journal staff, and speeding up the publication process.

Special Volumes. In 2004, the IJM inaugurated a series of affordable monographs with the publication of the Baer Volume, a collection of invited articles to mark the centenary of the birth of Reinhold Baer, one of the founders of the IJM. A second volume in this series, the Doob Volume, was published in 2007, to honor the memory of Joseph Doob, a founding editor of the IJM and a leading figure in twentieth century American mathematics. The most recent volume in this series is the Griffith Volume, published in 2008, which contains the proceedings of a Commutative Algebra Conference held in 2005 in honor of Phillip Griffith.

Articles about the IJM. The first four items below appeared in "Math Times", the newsletter of the Mathematics Department of the University of Illinois, and describe some of the milestones achieved by the Journal in recent years. The last item contains (in pdf format) slides from a talk given at an AMS Special Session "Problems and Issues in Electronic Publishing", at the AMS-SMM International Meeting, Houston, May 13, 2004.


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