http://mathoverflow.net/questions/3512/top-specialized-journals]]>

Where can I locate reputable lists, by MSC or MO major tags, of what the community considers major journals in those areas?

My need is too local, and the question too broad, to post on MO, so I don't think I can post there. However, the need is real, so any advice on where to seek the answer is welcome.

The Canadian federal science funding agency (NSERC) is going through a 'reallocation' exercise, in which it determines how much money to spend on what discipline. It has decided to rely on a report being written now, which aims to 'compare' between disciplines. The comparison is based on a rather crude metric derived from bibliometric data called the 'Average Research Impact Factor (ARIF)' with 1 being 'average', and 'Relative ARIF', being ARIF - 1. Someone is using Thompson Reuters to generate a list of 'top N journals in all math+stats' by citation measures, which are then incorporated into the report. Unsurprisingly, journals on econometrics makes this cut when N=10 or 20, whilst other major journals do not.

Canadian Mathematics+Statistics is the only discipline which apparently has negative R-ARIF. The funding for basic research in Mathematics and Statistics has been cut over the last exercise, and will most likely be cut again. There's outrage and squabbling over how grants are reviewed, http://nghoussoub.com/ but the source problem- underfunding- remains relatively unaddressed.

We (mathematicians in Canada) need to coherently and rather quickly point out the methodological fallacies in how these metric are computed, but more importantly, suggest other measures. Unfortunately, these measures have to be simple enough for non-scientists to compute. I was looking, therefore, for lists of 'top 10 journals' by major MSC category, where the ranking was decided by mathematicians (and not simply by IF). Handing over rank-ordered lists by subdiscipline where the ordering is 'agreed' upon by mathematicians is a lesser evil than having such a list thrust upon us. It currently is.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find such lists. There are lots of lists by lots of people, but I'm not sure which are considered authoritative, say, in algebraic geometry. I looked at Scott's question on MO. That got lots of interesting answers, but none that quite address what I'm looking for.

Any pointers welcome.]]>

I really like the side question of ---- how could we convince the AMS to open up the mathscinet database?

]]>@theo, can you add that as an answer?

]]>In the context of some discussions we are having at my university, it has become evident that some statistical information regarding publishing practices in mathematics would be necessary to proceed---you know, facts. In particular, I would be immensely happy to know if there are measurable and measured differences in the number of papers published by people working in different areas (think PDEs v. Algebraic Geometry v. Number theory v. Combinatorics; top level MSC groups, say); if there are measurable and measured differences in the number of citations gotten by papers in each area; and so on. Google has pointed to studies in which such comparisons are made between different disciplines (mathematics v. chemistry, say) but not at all between areas of mathematics.

Can anyone point to such information?

(I would **love** to get hold of MathSciNet's raw tables to compute such things... I doubt that is accessible, though)

I ask this here because I suspect the subject interests a few of the meta.MO regulars, who might help me; I don't think the question is MO material (although I believe it is relevant to mathematicians!)

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