Annals of Mathematics

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The Annals of Mathematics (often just called Annals) is a bimonthly mathematical journal published by Princeton University and the Institute for Advanced Study. It ranks amongst the most prestigious mathematics journals in the world by criteria such as impact factor.



The journal began as The Analyst in 1874[2] and was founded and edited by Joel E. Hendricks. It was "intended to afford a medium for the presentation and analysis of any and all questions of interest or importance in pure and applied Mathematics, embracing especially all new and interesting discoveries in theoretical and practical astronomy, mechanical philosophy, and engineering".[3] It was published in Des Moines, Iowa, and was the earliest American mathematics journal to be published continuously for more than a year or two.[4] This incarnation of the journal ceased publication after its tenth year, in 1883, giving as an explanation Hendricks's declining health,[5] but Hendricks made arrangements to have it taken over by new management,[6] and it was continued from March 1884 as the Annals of Mathematics.[7] The new incarnation of the journal was edited by Ormond Stone of the University of Virginia. It moved to Harvard in 1899 before reaching its current home in Princeton in 1911.

An important period for the journal was 1928–1958 with Solomon Lefschetz as editor.[8] During this time, Annals became an increasingly well-known and respected journal. The rise of Annals, in turn, stimulated American mathematics. Norman Steenrod characterized Lefschetz' impact as the Annals editor as follows:"The importance to American mathematicians of a first-class journal is that it sets high standards for them to aim at. In this somewhat indirect manner, Lefschetz profoundly affected the development of mathematics in the United States."[8]

Princeton University continued to publish the Annals on its own until 1933, when the Institute for Advanced Study took joint editorial control. Since 1998 it has been available in an electronic edition, alongside its regular print edition. The electronic edition was available without charge, as an open access journal, but since 2008 this is no longer the case. Editions before 2003 were transferred to the non-free JSTOR archive, and articles are not freely available until 5 years after publication.

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