The Jahrbuch Project
Electronic Research Archive for Mathematics

Description of the Jahrbuch Project

      (Content and Organization of the Project)

0 Preface
1 The editorial procedures for the JFM database

1.1 The general concept
1.2 The JFM fields
1.3 Enhancement of the data
1.3.1 Editing of the JFM data by mathematical experts
1.3.2 Editing of the JFM data by librarians

2 The digital archive
3 Presentation in the World Wide Web
4 Organization of the JFM Project

4.1 The JFM database
4.2 The digital archive

0 Preface

Intention of the JFM Project is to create a digital library for classical mathematics in the World Wide Web. It consists of a complete electronic catalogue of the mathematical publications in the time period between 1868 - 1942 (JFM database) and a digital archive storing the most relevant publications from that period. The two components are linked very closely.

The JFM Project is sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Therefore the JFM Project will be a free service for the mathematical community world-wide, as far as costs resulting from the installation of the system will be concerned .

1 The editorial procedures for the JFM-database

1.1 The general concept

The first step of the project is the production of a bibliographic database capturing the content of the JFM. The database should be similar in structure  to the current database Zentralblatt MATH (1931-today). This will enable searches within the same framework.

It is not enough to bring the JFM in an electronic format. The updating of information produced more than 50 years ago must involve an editing of the data. Therefore some additional fields like comments of the experts, ranking for the selection for scanning, keywords et al are introduced.

The editors of the database gratefully acknowledge that the publisher of the JFM, de Gruyter Verlag Berlin, was so kind to allow the editors to store the content of the JFM in the projected database.

1.2 The JFM fields

First the fields which contain the original text of the JFM or derived from it:

  1. Accession number (AN)

  2. The accession number  (AN) is derived from the position of the review in the JFM. It is to be read as: "JFM". The single partitions are separated by dots. The volume and the number of the review are two-digit, the page has four digits. The accession number is unique. AN is the key for the internal and external links.
  3. Author(s) of the publication (AU)

  4. This field contains the name(s) of the author(s) of the publication as they are stated in the JFM.  Some names may be incomplete. Supplements and further forms of the names can be found in a separate field (AR), see 1.3.2. The syntax of the presentation of the name will be the same as in the database Zentralblatt MATH: name, surname of the first author; name, surname of the second author, and so on.
    The following convention is made for collected works: AU contains the name of the author, not the editor.
  5. Title of the publication (TI)

  6. The original information about the title is given here as it is stated in the JFM. You find different forms of the same title in JFM. First, the title in JFM is identical with the title of the paper. Second, the title in JFM contains the original title and a translation of the title, e.g. AN 47.0547.06. Third, only a translation of the title is given, e.g. see 48.0822.04. In the last case the user finds a reference to the original language of the work.
  7. Publication year (PY)

  8. In (PY) the user finds the year of appearance of the publications. Each volume of the JFM normally should contain all publications that came out in the same year. But there are some exceptions from this rule, e.g. volume 25 contains mathematical publications of 1893 and 1894, volume 45 the years 1914 - 1915, volume 46 the years 1916 - 1918, volume 47 the years 1919 and 1920, volume 48 the years 1921 and 1922. Volume 47 contains the reviews of Russian publications from 1913 - 1922.
    Usually publication years of articles are not stated in the JFM: e.g. Volume 1 specifies the publication year only for books and not for journals. Therefore we will supply the data: If the JFM contains no entry for the publication year the corresponding publication year of the JFM will be given in brackets.
  9. Language (LA)

  10. In some cases the JFM contains a reference to the original language of the article (if the language of the title is different from that). This information is written down in this field.
  11. Source (SO)

  12. The source is very important for retrieval. The JFM used the following techniques: Every volume of the JFM had a chapter declaring the abbreviations for sources. These abbreviations changed from time to time. The field "Source" contains the abbreviation used by the JFM. A new field (Reformated source (SR), see 1.2.2) will give the complete name of the journal and possible modifications over the time.
  13. Document type (DT)

  14. In the JFM there are three document types to be found:
    1. Books

    2. This type has different forms; e.g. monographs, series, complete editions of the publications of famous mathematicians. Books are characterized as books only indirectly. Normally informations about editor, place of publication, edition, and number of pages are available.
    3. Articles

    4. This refers to all publications in journals, which offers a wide variety.. The most articles  present research results, but also ceremonial speeches, necrologues, reports could be found. Journal articles are characterized by the name of the journal in JFM, the volume and the page numbers.
    5. Dissertations

    6. The dissertations are characterized as such (see e.g. AN 46.0721.01).
  15. Review, Abstract of the publication (AB)

  16. Here the user will get the review as printed in the JFM. The majority of the reviews is written in German. Sometimes one review is written for two or more articles: e.g. one review for the AN 01.0022.02 and 01.0022.03. There are also publications with bibliographic data only in JFM, see e.g. AN 47.0510.01 - AN 47.0510.18.
  17. Reviewer (RV)

  18. All reviews in the JFM were not anonymous. There where abbreviations of the names of the reviewers. A table explaining these abbreviations was given at the beginning or at the end of each volume. The database field will contain this complete name. Normally there is exactly one reviewer for a certain publication - exception see e.g. 54.0698.02. In brackets we find the names of the translators.
  19. Subject headings (SH)

  20. The subject headings provided the only relation between the article and a systematic view of mathematics.
    The subject headings constitute a hierarchical scheme. They are organized in three layers and they changed over the time. The variations were very different. New notions and topics arose, e.g. analysis (it was used for the first time in JFM, volume 46) or functional analysis. Special topics changed the level during the time, e.g. the stochastics was a subject heading of first order in volume 1, later the theory of probabilities became a part of analysis (in volume 46). Other topics were eliminated in the later volumes of JFM (e.g. the subject heading "Synthetische Geometrie" or some topics of the applications of Mathematics). The relations between the principal domains changed, too.
Links are noted in the field AB:
There are different kinds of links in the JFM. There are links to a joint review of several publications, links to earlier work of the same author, or links to articles of other authors. Sometimes chapters end with references to other relevant publications which are reviewed elsewhere  in JFM (e.g. volume 54, p. 116).

1.3 The enhancement of the data

Enhancement of the data of the JFM has two parts

  1. editing by mathematical experts
  2. editing by librarians
At first a general remark: These procedures generally should be done without consulting the fulltext of the item.

More than 100 mathematicians work with the project as voluntary experts. If you are interested in taking part in the project as a volunteer, please contact the project management.
The Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen will take care of the librarian part.

1.3.1 Editing of the JFM-data by mathematical experts

The experts should complement the available data from the mathematical point of view. This includes

  1. classifying with regard to the MSC2000
  2. allocation of english keywords
  3. evaluation
In more detail: The following fields should be checked and handled by the experts
  1. Translation of the title (ET)

  2. This field provides an English translation of the title as given in the JFM
  3. Keywords (KW)

  4. This field characterizes the contents of the article as far as it can be recognized from its title and the review.The keywords are uncontrolled. There is no standard vocabulary (thesaurus). The keywords will be in English. Keywords in other languages are added only in cases where no suitable term in English is available.
  5. Classification code (CC)

  6. The Mathematical Subject Classification (2000) is used to arrange the articles according modern mathematics. There are some relations to subject headings of the JFM, but as a matter of course these headings are not convertible into MSC codes by computers.
  7. Evaluation (EV)

  8. This field contains information about the importance of the publication judged by the volunteers. The ranking is relevant for the digitization of the complete text. There will be three classes
    1. publications of significant importance for the further development of Mathematics. This class should not contain more than 5% of all publications.
    2. important publications (not more than 15 %)
    3. all other publications
    Evaluation will be decisive for the selection of publications to be stored in the digital archive. The publications selected for the classes I and II will be part of the digital archive, if the publishing houses of the journals approves.
  9. Biographic references (BR)

  10. This field will be used if the publications contain additional information about biographies, correspondence between mathematicians or other historical facts.
  11. Expert's remarks (ER)

  12. The expert may use this field for an annotation to the publication of any kind. This could be e.g. a verbal description of the importance of the publication or the references to other developments in mathematics. Biographical comments are possible too.
1.3.2 Editing of the JFM-data by librarians

These fields will help the user to find the oringinal publications.

  1. References to other forms of the author's name (AR)

  2. This field contains further forms of the name of an author. Different name forms are well-known already from JFM, e.g. V. Stekloff and W. Stekloff in JFM 48, p. 1346, the first article on the page (AN 48.1346.01).
  3. Electronic Source of fulltext (EF)

  4. Here the address of the digitized form of the original publication is specified.
  5. Signature (SIG)

  6. This covers the signature of the source of the original publication at the SUB Göttingen. The SUB provides a document delivery service for these publications.
  7. Reformated Source (SR)

  8. Here additional names of the sources are given, e.g. varying titles of journals, standard forms of journal titles and corresponding abbreviations.

2 The digital archive

The digital archive will contain most of the relevant mathematical publications from the period 1868 - 1942. This can be up to 20 % of the total amount of mathematical publications from this time period or 1.200.000 pages in absolute numbers. The original publications will be scanned (as gif images) and stored in a document management system. There will no conversion of the images into text files. All documents will be provided at the SUB Göttingen.

A search in the JFM database is the easiest way for accessing the documents. As result of a search the user will get the bibliographic data, and:

3 Presentation in the World Wide Web

The presentation of the project has two aspects.

  1. The presentation of the JFM database.
    The database will accessible at the same server as the database Zentralblatt MATH (EMIS, European Mathematical Society) and at a server of the SUB Göttingen (possible in some different presentations).The user will have a form-based interface for the communication with the database. The presentation at the EMIS-server will have a similar design as for the database Zentralblatt MATH.
  2. The digital archive will also be accessible in the internet. Suitable forms for presentation of the original articles will be developed in the project.

4 Organization of the JFM Project

4.1 The JFM database

The preparation of the JFM database will be done in several steps:

  1. Keyboarding of the data

  2. The keyboarding of the JFM data will be done by a company. It delivers the data to the project management in packages. Each package consists of the online data of a given volume. These data will be the base for the editing process. The keyboarding of all data should be done over a period of two years. The collection of volumes of the JFM has more than a total of 70.000 pages and more than a total of 200.000 entries.
    The texts will be coded in AMSTeX to provide the suitable formula display. The data will be stored in a database.
  3. Editing the data

  4. The next step is the editing the data.
    1. Editing the data by mathematical experts

    2. The experts for the JFM Project are well-recommended mathematicians. The experts may choose their topics of expertise from a given catalogue of subjects. The project management will divide the sets of the JFM-data (normally a complete volume) into packages according to this catalogue and submit these packages to the respective experts. The experts are supposed to handle their package within a certain period of time. The exchange of data can happen via e-mail, disc or postal mail
      The most efficient method would be the data transfer via e-mail. Most of the experts have already accepted this data transfer.
    3. Editing the data by the librarians

    4. The librarian part is done simultaneously at the SUB Göttingen.
4.2 The digital archive

The digital archive should be created in a time period of 6 years. This requires the solution of the subsequent problems

Last modified: 20.7.2000,