Should expository papers (e.g., in American Math Monthly) be listed in CV as if they are regular publications? These are usually not totally original research papers. For example, this is the description of articles to be submitted to American Math Monthly:

The Monthly's readers expect a high standard of exposition; they expect articles to inform, stimulate, challenge, enlighten, and even entertain. Monthly articles are meant to be read, enjoyed, and discussed, rather than just archived. Articles may be expositions of old or new results, historical or biographical essays, speculations or definitive treatments, broad developments, or explorations of a single application. Novelty and generality are far less important than clarity of exposition and broad appeal. Appropriate figures, diagrams, and photographs are encouraged.

Notes are short, sharply focused, and possibly informal. They are often gems that provide a new proof of an old theorem, a novel presentation of a familiar theme, or a lively discussion of a single issue.

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    Let me supplement my answer by remarking that I have had two articles rejected by the Monthly. These rejected notes had clear exposition; breadth of appeal is quite subjective. In practice, this is a hard journal to publish in, and the amount of novelty appearing in an average Monthly article is greater than that of certain less choosy research journals. Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 19:11
  • @PeteL.Clark: Approximately how many weeks did it take them to inform you their decisions regarding those articles? Thanks in advance for your reply! Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 17:18
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    @JoséHdz.Stgo: The first one was long enough ago so that they sent the rejection by non-electronic mail to a no-longer current address. (But it was less than 15 years ago, so even at the time that was a weird thing to do.) So that was a bit of a fiasco. For the second one, I think it was probably 3 months or so. Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 17:25
  • @PeteL.Clark: Did it also take them approximately 3 months to write you back in those three occasions that they accepted what you sent in? Thanks in advance once again. Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 19:17

4 Answers 4


I think that more than half of the articles and notes published in the Monthly contain original research. ("Totally original" does not seem like a useful standard, as many well-written seminal papers contain substantial portions which are not original research. I am currently translating Serre's 1972 paper on torsion points and am struck by the extent to which he was willing to be expository.)

I work at a large research university, I have two Monthly publications (and article and a note; the former appears in the December 2014 issue) and I happily -- indeed proudly -- list them alongside my other publications. There is definitely original research in both of these publications. (I apologize for the excessive horn-tooting, but it seems perhaps relevant to mention that Google Scholar finds a citation for each of these publications in a research paper written by people I have never met.) It is not the same species of research that I would publish in the Journal of Number Theory or Crelle, but since they occur alongside publications in these journals, I think their existence reflects positively on my research profile.

If you clicked on my webpage, you may have seen that I do separately list expository documents. These documents do not contain new results (though in some cases they contain proofs that I at least have not found in the literature). But I think it is not a coincidence that none of these documents have been published, although three out of the four have been submitted. I don't seem to have a good handle on the genre of "truly expository journal aritcles"; in fact, I find that it is as much work or more to get these published and I do think that the value to me would be smaller. There are also surprisingly few avenues for the publication of mathematical exposition, so because I am less interested in the certification or credit that the formal publication process brings, I have for a while been content to "self-publish" these results on my own webpage and/or the arxiv.

One default way is to list as research publications those which are archived and reviewed by MathSciNet. Alas I am not entirely clear on how these choices are made. It seems that in recent years, most Monthly publications get archived and many get reviewed. For the other MAA journals -- Math Magazine and the College Math Journal -- it seems to be rarer to have reviews. For instance my recent Monthly publication references a 2012 note of Kantrowitz and Schramm, but MathSciNet has no record of this publication. I just looked back at the last few years of CMJ, and I am a bit confused: I don't know why they don't list certain short articles (I think they should...) and how they choose to review the articles that they do.

Upon further thought, here are two rules of thumb I like a little better:

  • "Rule 1: Do not mislead". If your Nature publication is actually a letter to the editor correcting someone's birth and death dates [this is a totally hypothetical example; I have no idea whether this journal would ever publish such a letter] and you don't list this explanatory detail on your CV, I worry that you are trying to misrepresent yourself.

  • "Rule 2: Subject to Rule 1, make the publication list an accurate reflection of your own views." Thus, notwithstanding what I wrote above, I might perhaps submit this tiny note for publication in something like the CMJ someday. Unlike most other stuff I've written, it is wholly and sincerely aimed at actual intermediate-level undergraduate math majors, and I think that it might actually help some people if it were published. But there is just no mathematical novelty here, and I think it would dilute my own record by listing it as a research publication.


Yes, absolutely!

I work in a research-oriented department and have been on the hiring committee for three years now. We care more about research articles published in prominent journals, but an AMM publication is unambiguously a plus.


I work at a small, four year, liberal arts school. Here, the answer would be most definitely yes. At schools higher up the food chain, I would suspect you should still list it. How much importance would be attached to it will depend on the institution. I will have to defer to the insight of others for this situation.



And it holds for other mainly didactic papers (e.g. The American Mathematical Monthly, American Journal of Physics), but which are peer-reviewed and considered of high quality.

While novelty is a crucial quality of most of research, it is not for all of publications. For example, review articles are highly valued even if authors "only" complied and summarized already existing results.

In any case, people in your field know what profile of journals and will judge it accordingly.

If you add a few such articles there is no risk of diluting "more serious" results. Of course, if you have mostly such papers, you can be viewed as a person mostly interested in didactics (which may be true in this case).

(Side note: I have had an article rejected from AMM.)

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