I have been out of undergrad for some time now but was interested in publishing a few things I have been working on. Are there any good "beginner" journals where someone without a mathematics PhD might have a chance at publishing something?

It might be important to note that most of the material would likely just be more on the recreational side of things.

Thanks in advance.

  • 5
    American Mathematical Monthly comes to mind; also The Mathematical Intelligencer.
    – Dirk
    Mar 12 '15 at 20:43
  • 13
    A word of caution: Beware of predatory author-pay journals that will try to exploit you!
    – Paul
    Mar 12 '15 at 20:43
  • 5
    Intending to contribute an obvious answer here, I googled the "Journal of Recreational Mathematics" (which I remember seeing in our university library), and I learned that it stopped publishing last year. Oh, well. Mar 13 '15 at 15:47
  • 3
    @Dirk The Monthly is definitely not a "beginner" journal.
    – JeffE
    Nov 15 '15 at 19:44
  • @jeffe My comment was more triggered by the word "recreational" than by "beginner".
    – Dirk
    Nov 15 '15 at 21:35

Of the journals of the Mathematical Association of America, you can choose between The American Mathematical Monthly, the Mathematical Magazine, and The College Mathematics Journal. The three have (perhaps subtly) different scopes1, and short of you telling us exactly what your results are about we cannot tell you which journal is the best choice. (On the other hand, you can easily write to the editors of one of those three journals to see where your manuscript would best fit.)

As Dirk mentioned, The Mathematical Intelligencer is also an obvious choice (again, caveats about not knowing whether your paper fit in their scope).

If you aim the material at the mathematical maturity level between secondary (high school) education and first years of a college education, two good publications are Pi in the Sky which is published by the Pacific Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and Parabola which is backed by the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Another general mathematics magazine you can try is Plus Magazine based at Cambridge; the editors specifically asks you to contact them in advance if you want to write for the publication.

1 A very rough guide is that in terms of "mathematical maturity", the "age" of the readers are such that CMJ < MM < AMM.

  • I was also going to recommend the magazine Quantum, from which I derived great benefit when I was in high school. Unfortunately it seems to have ceased publication in 2001. Mar 16 '15 at 8:32

Willie's answers provides a good list of math journals aimed a general audience from undergrads to PhDs, but I'd like to give a different kind of answer. You question seems to assume that most math journals are specifically for people with PhDs to publish in but this is just false. While it's certainly true that most papers published in most journals are written by people who already have PhDs, many of them are written by grad students, some by undergrads, and even a few by high school students (I don't know any articles by preschoolers or middle schoolers, but maybe someone else can enlighten me.)

The main question you should ask is: what journals publish the kind of papers I am writing? Since you say it's primarily recreational mathematics, then the kind of publications that Willie mentions may well be most appropriate (though beware the Monthly has rather high standards in terms of quality and exposition--I don't know much about the others). But, depending on the kind of mathematics, it might be appropriate for, say, one of the many journals with a focus on combinatoric or number theory. The ideal thing would be to see if one of your former professors, could give you some guidance--both feedback on a draft, and suggestions for suitable places for publication. In fact, the feedback on a draft is likely to be more valuable than journal suggestions. If this is not possible, you could also consider contacting a mathematician who you think may be interested in your work, and briefly explain your situation and ask if they would be willing to take a look at your draft.

  • "You question seems to assume that most math journals are specifically for people with PhDs to publish in but this is just false. " I had to read this a couple of times to understand why it's true. I think you mean that the credential of a PhD is not required to publish in any math journal. However I think it is true that most papers published in most math journals exhibit a PhD level of mastery and accomplishment. In other words, I know of very few "beginner" journals, and as you say the MAA-type journals that one thinks of when people ask about this are not easy to publish in. Mar 13 '15 at 19:51
  • 1
    @PeteL.Clark Sorry if this was unclear. Yes I meant that journals are for (both for reading and publishing) people interested in that research, not specifically for PhDs. Of course, people with PhDs tend be more interested than people without PhDs.
    – Kimball
    Mar 15 '15 at 0:27

Try for Recreational Mathematics Magazine. LINK url : rmm.ludus-opuscula.org

As noted here, the Journal of Recreational Mathematics has ceased publication. Maybe this new journal will help fill the gap.

See the 4 issues published so far at that address. And more information about the journal.

  • 4
    Can you please expand your recommendation a bit, to say some more about this venue and why you recommend it?
    – jakebeal
    Nov 15 '15 at 16:12

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