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Submitting a Mathematical Theorem for Publishing

Date: 11/30/2004 at 14:08:18
From: Sean
Subject: Submission of a Mathematical Theorem

Where and how can I submit a mathematical theorem or idea so that I 
can get credit for it? 

I haven't been able to find a mathematical organization that openly 
accepts new mathematical ideas.  I have never contributed ideas.  I 
was wondering if I should start looking at certain universities that 
might do such presentations, and if so, how do I go about asking them 
for this recognition?



Date: 11/30/2004 at 16:06:22
From: Doctor Vogler
Subject: Re: Submission of a Mathematical Theorem

Hi Sean,

Thanks for writing to Dr. Math.  The way that professional 
mathematicians spread their ideas to the rest of the mathematical
world is by mathematical journals.  There are numerous mathematical
journals, some for more or less advanced audiences, some for general
mathematics and others for more specific mathematical topics.  There
is an internet archive at J-Stor (Journal Storage)

    http://www.jstor.org 

You need an account (most universities have one) to read some things
there, but I think you can do some browsing of their archives without
an account.  For example, you can find a list of math journals at

    http://www.jstor.org/browse#Mathematics 

Now, it generally takes quite a bit of time to submit an article to a
math journal (or any academic journal), for them to review it, and
either accept it for printing or send it back for changes or outright
rejection.  Since you don't want to be rejected, you should probably
talk to someone (like a math teacher, especially a college professor)
who has published papers before to get advice on how to write an 
article, how to submit it, and what would be the best journal to
submit it to.

Finally, if you fear someone might steal your idea for their own 
(which happens sometimes, but not very often), then perhaps the
easiest good way to prevent this is to write it up on the computer and
put it on your personal web page.  Then it is available for all the
world to see that you wrote it.

Of course, it is most likely that someone else has made the same
discovery many years before you, so try not to be discouraged if you
are told that your new theorem is actually named for a 19th-century
mathematician.  It has been said that too many mathematicians don't
read as much as they should.

To recap, I'd recommend talking to a trusted math teacher to see if
your theorem really is worth trying to publish, and then, if it is,
talking to a college professor for advice on how to publish it.  He or
she can guide you from there.

If you have any questions about this or need more help, please write
back and tell me what you have been able to do, and I will try to
offer further suggestions.

- Doctor Vogler, The Math Forum
  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ 
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