Input Requested for Mathematics Subject Classification Revision

August 4, 2006

Members of the mathematical sciences community are invited to provide input into the latest round of revisions to the Mathematics Subject Classification.

Mathematical Reviews (MR) and Zentralblatt MATH (Zbl) cooperate in maintaining the Mathematics Subject Classification (MSC), which is used by these reviewing services and others to categorize items in the mathematical sciences literature. The current version, MSC2000, consists of 63 areas classified with two digits refined into over 5000 three- and five-digit classifications. Details of MSC2000 can be found at or and .

MSC2000 was a substantial revision of the 1991 subject classification scheme developed through the collaborative efforts of the editors of MR and Zbl with considerable input from the community. MR and Zbl have initiated the process of revising MSC2000 with an expectation that the revision will be used beginning in 2010. From the perspective of MR and Zbl, the five-digit classification scheme MSC is an extremely important device that allows editors and reviewers to process the literature in an appropriate manner. Users of the publications of MR and Zbl exploit the MSC to search the literature by subject area, although, in the era of fully searchable databases, key-word searching appears to be a search method preferred by many users. On the other hand, browsing the MR or Zbl database using a two- or three-digit classification search is an effective method of keeping up with research in specific areas.

Based in part on some thoughtful suggestions from members of the community, the editors of MR and Zbl have given preliminary consideration to the scope of the revision of the MSC. It appears there will not be any changes at the two-digit level; however, it is anticipated that there will be refinement of the three- and five-digit levels.

At this point, MR and Zbl welcome additional community input into the process. Comments can be submitted through the Web form or by email to . All information about MSC revision is jointly shared by MR and Zbl. This input will be of great value as the process moves forward.

Kevin F. Clancey, Executive Editor, MR and Bernd Wegner, Editor-in-Chief, Zbl

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