Opinion 24: Math Reviews Should Stop Being Specisist and Lengthist

By Doron Zeilberger

Written: May 12, 1998

I just finished browsing through MathSciNet (the on-line version of Math Reviews), and was shocked that three out of the sixteen papers by my beloved servant, Shalosh B. Ekhad, are not going to receive a review. Here they are. Now, Antimachinism may have something to do with this omission, but because these papers were written in collaboration with humans, and because there are a few other short papers of mine that did not (and will not) receive a review, it is mainly another sort of prejudice and bigotry that is taking place here. The human trait of long-windedness, and of dismissing short articles as trivial.

This of course is rubbish. The shorter an article is, the more time and effort it takes to write. Hence, the less trivial it is. More pertinently, a short, terse, and cryptic article demands clarification more than a verbose, long-winded one.

I sent a copy of this to John Ewing, Executive Director of the Amer. Math, Soc., who forwarded it to Jane Kister, Exec. Assoc. Editor of Math Reviews. Here is her Unsatisfactory Reply.

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