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I would like to submit a paper which is exactly 15 pages. The journal overview of Transactions of the AMS says:

Papers of less than 15 printed pages that meet the above criteria should be submitted to the Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society.

It seems that my paper can be submitted to Transactions, since it is exactly 15 pages. However, Initial Submission for Peer Review of Transactions of the AMS says:

Papers submitted to Transactions of the AMS (to be published in either Transactions of the AMS or Transactions of the AMS, Series B) should exceed 15 printed pages in length."

So it seems that my paper cannot be submitted to Transactions (since it is exactly 15 pages), and should be submitted to Proceedings. So I am confused. Does anyone have information/similar experience which could possibly let me know to which journal I should submit?

  • TAMS is, however, significantly harder to get into than PAMS, in the sense that a 14 page paper has a much better chance in PAMS than a 16 page paper has in TAMS – Yemon Choi Jun 24 '19 at 2:27
  • Keep in mind that these page limits are with respect to the journal's latex document class. I once submitted a 14 page paper to PAMS only to have it rejected a day later because someone at the journal had determined that it would be over 15 pages in PAMS' document class. – user109454 Jun 30 '19 at 1:13
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You should submit your paper to Proceedings.

The overview page for Proceedings of the AMS clarifies this:

This journal is devoted to shorter research articles (not to exceed 15 printed pages) in all areas of pure and applied mathematics.

If your article is exactly 15 pages long (or less), then its length does not exceed 15 pages, and so it is suitable for submission to Proceedings. By that same token, it is not suitable for submission to Transactions. The intention is clearly that the criteria should be mutually exclusive.

Information on a journal's own web page should be considered more authoritative than information about that journal on a different journal's web page.

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I don't know if the editors of the two journals have an actual policy for this, but I'll guess two things.

First, if you send it to the "wrong" one, you will hear immediately to send it to the other instead.

Second, being a bit (i.e. very) pedantic here, your paper probably doesn't completely fill the last page to the very limit, indicating that it is, in reality, a bit less then 15 pages - suggesting that Proceedings is the better choice.

And, the more important question, from the editor's standpoint is what the length will likely be after review and revision. It can be hard to judge that, of course.

But the editor of either is the best judge.

  • 5
    Since we are talking about mathematicians here, the "pedantic" interpretation is likely correct. – Nate Eldredge Jun 23 '19 at 15:13

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