A journal asked me to add the "series volume no" of a book in my list of references:

[10] P. Buser,Geometry and Spectra of Compact Riemann Surfaces, Modern Birkhäuser Classics,Q11Reprint of the 1992 edition (Birkhäuser, Boston, 2010).

From "mathscinet" i get this,

@book {MR2742784,
    AUTHOR = {Buser, Peter},
     TITLE = {Geometry and spectra of compact {R}iemann surfaces},
    SERIES = {Modern Birkh\"{a}user Classics},
      NOTE = {Reprint of the 1992 edition},
 PUBLISHER = {Birkh\"{a}user Boston, Ltd., Boston, MA},
      YEAR = {2010},
     PAGES = {xvi+454},
      ISBN = {978-0-8176-4991-3},
   MRCLASS = {58J50 (30F10 32G15 58J53)},
  MRNUMBER = {2742784},
       DOI = {10.1007/978-0-8176-4992-0},
       URL = {https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-8176-4992-0},

but i don't know where is the "series volume no".

Tanks for any discussion or answer }

  • One possibility if you can't get an answer that satisfies the journal is to cite the 1992 edition, which is likely easier to get ahold of anyway for many people because library budgets were probably a lot worse in 2010 than in 1992, plus libraries may not have bothered to purchase the reprint of a book already on their shelves. Of course, if you do this, you'll want to double check any actual quotes and assertations you make to ensure that everything you say is correct for the 1992 edition, but most likely nothing had been changed, even typos (for those Birkhäuser Classics volumes). Jan 12, 2021 at 12:59
  • I just realized that most people (reading Academia) probably have access the book digitally, which I suspect libraries are much more likely to have than a physical copy. I didn't initially think of this because I don't have such access (unless I'm on-site at a nearby university library and also fill-out a "community access request form", which for me is more bothersome than simply checking out a hardcopy of the book itself with my community library card, which only needs renewal once a year, not every visit), and most of the books I make use of are physical copies of books on my bookshelves. Jan 12, 2021 at 13:22
  • @DaveLRenfro thank you for your comment, what do you think if i put that: Peter Buser, Geometry and spectra of compact Riemann surfaces, volume 106 of Progress in Mathematics. Birkhäuser Boston, Inc. Boston, MA, 1992. || i found it cited like that in an other article Jan 12, 2021 at 13:29
  • @DaveLRenfro or like that for example: [10] P. Buser,Geometry and Spectra of Compact Riemann Surfaces, Modern Birkhäuser Classics,Q11Reprint of the 1992 edition (Birkhäuser, Boston, 2010), (Originally published as Volume 106 in the series Progress in Mathematics). Jan 12, 2021 at 13:31
  • Regarding your suggested versions, I don't know. This is something probably only the journal can tell you, as it likely pertains to their specific style rules. But those classic reprints are fairly well know (Springer has such a series also), so surely this is something they would have dealt with before. Jan 12, 2021 at 13:38

3 Answers 3


First of all, let me state this, because this does not seem to be understood by the OP but none of the other answers actually try to clarify this confusion. "Series volume no" is an abbreviation of "series volume number", i.e. the number of the volume in the series. The journal is asking you what the position (number) of your book (the volume) is in the series "Modern Birkhaüser Classic".

I have another volume from the series Modern Birkhaüser Classic in my hands. No number for this volume is to be found anywhere. Nothing on Springer's webpage either. None of the usual bibliographical databases (mathscinet, zbmath) mention any kind of number. My university's library search engine does not make mention of a number either. If such a number even exists, it is useless to anyone.

Simply tell the journal that despite being part of a series, there is no number attached to this volume. If the journal is somehow adamant on having a number, then your other option is to cite the original edition from 1992, if you are certain that the content is exactly the same, but this sounds pointless.

  • +1 This is what I thought too, but did not have the patience you took to confirm it. Jan 12, 2021 at 16:57
  • Indeed, the whole purpose of including this information is to make the referenced material easier to find. Even if a number exists, as some other answers suggest, if it's this hard to find it isn't useful to anybody. In my experience, this task of checking references for missing information is either automated or done by someone who is checking against a very strict list. It's normal to respond "this doesn't exist/doesn't apply". For example, I've run into journals asking for different information for software citations that just make no sense; it's never been a problem to explain politely.
    – Bryan Krause
    Jan 12, 2021 at 17:09

Since the book is part of a series, it must also have a series number - its position in the series.

Unfortunately enough there are 109 books in that series, and Springer's website does not order them in series number (which would be expected to roughly correspond to chronological order). If you have a physical copy of the book you might be able to find the series order in the front matter of the book, possibly on the copyright page. Otherwise you might have to ask Springer for the number.


I found this on worldcat.org by searching the title

Geometry and spectra of compact Riemann surfaces : "Reprint of the 1992 edition.". - "Originally published as Volume 106 in the series Progress in mathematics"--

  • 1
    But the reprint appears to be in a different series called Modern Birkhäuser Classics. So the reprint probably has some other series volume number.
    – Anyon
    Jan 12, 2021 at 3:29
  • @Anyon That's a good point, although the version in the "Modern Birkh\"auser Classics" series is so closely tied to the version in the "Progress in Mathematics" series that the version in the "Modern Birkh\"auser Classics" series ends with instructions for how to propose a new book in the "Progress in Mathematics" series and a list of the previous books in the "Progress in Mathematics" series. Jan 12, 2021 at 15:59

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