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Statistics (Mathematical)

Guide to resources on mathematical statistics.

Mathematics Subject Classification (MSC)

Mathematical Subject Classifications (MSC) are categories created to classify mathematics by the mathematical databases MathSciNet and zbMATH. MSC is made up of codes for 63 different major mathematical disciplines, with multiple levels allowing for even more precision. MSC classifications are five characters long. The first two characters are numbers representing an article's major mathematical discipline. The third character is a letter describing the article's sub-discipline. The final characters are numbers representing the specific focus of the article. For example an an article which was assigned 62N05 would be in Statistics (62) with focus on Survival Analysis and Censored Data (N), specifically with regard to Estimation (02). All articles and books indexed in MathSciNet are provided MSC values, more than one if needed, by subject area experts when added to the database. MSC is updated every 10 years to stay on top of changes and trends in mathematics. zbMath provides a browseable page of MSC values for free if you want to dig deeper into the classifications.

About MathSciNet

MathSciNet from the American Mathematical Society is the leading mathematics indexing and abstracting database. It provide abstracts from more than 3100 mathematics and statistics journals and many thousands of books, conference proceedings, theses, and technical reports indexes. MathSciNet goes beyond simple bibliographic information, it also incorporates the content of the American Mathematical Society's Mathematical Reviews. These article reviews are written by experts in the article's mathematical content and exist for a significant percentage of the papers in the database, including many from as far back as 1940s.

How to Search MathSciNet for Statistics

Searching MathSciNet is very similar to using advanced searches in library catalogs or databases. It provides users the ability to search publications, authors, journals, or citations. What sets       MathSciNet's search apart from many other databases, is its unique identification of authors and articles, and its use of the MSC (mathematical subject classification) system. MSC is what allows for identification of statistical publication, all you have to do is include the MSC value of, or one of children such as 62F15 for Bayesian inference, as a part of your search.

Screenshot of the front page of MathSciNet with a search bar in the middle, with search tab Publication Highlighted and Authors, Journals, Series, and

Upon visiting MathSciNet you will be presented with a search bar. If you know the name of an author or an article title you can start typing it into the search bar, but if you are doing a wider search you will have to use field codes.

Screenshot of MathSciNet Standard Field Codes: any: anywhere, au: author name, inst: institution name, j: journal name, mr: MR Number, pc: MSC Primary

For example if you wanted to know what articles Kimberly Weems wrote about parametric inference robustness then I would use the query: 

au:"Weems Kimberly Sherrille" AND pcsc:"62F35"

Where au:"" is the author field, and when I start typing in Kimberly Weem's name it provides me with a drop down of author names and I chose Weems Kimberly Sherrille.

MathSciNet search bar with au:"Kimberly W" typed in and a drop down with Weems Kimberly Sherrille, and Wasserman Kimberley M

Then I type AND followed by pcsc:"62F35" to search the Mathematics Subject Classification Primary and Secondary for the subject Robustness and adaptive procedures (parametric inference). This is the results:

MathSciNet search for au:"Weems Kimberly Sherrille" AND pcsc:"62F35" with the top 2 of 3 results shown

Do not worry about having to remember a bunch of field names, clicking on Show All Fields and then clicking on the field you want it will auto-populate in the search bar. You can also click the Show Classic Interface link which brings up a traditional advanced search with drop down menus for field searching.

If you think you will need to do the same search regularly, MathSciNet allows you to Pin any search. Just click on Search History, choose the search you want, and click the Pin button on the right hand side.

 MathSciNet Search History expanded and recent searches selected showing a search for au:"Weems Kimberly Sherrille" AND pcsc:"62F35" with the options to Pin or Edit on the right

MathSciNet has also made major progress in solving a major problem in database searching: telling author's with the same name apart from one another. MathSciNet accomplishes this by assigning unique identification numbers to each author. You can search for a specific author by clicking the Author tab on the MathSciNet home page and then use their name or their ID number (if known).

MathSciNet search interface with the Authors option chosen and a search bar with Fan Chung in it with a drop down reading Chung Fan and Chung Ching-Fan

Clicking on an author's name elsewhere in the database will also bring you to their MathSciNet profile. If you are the author of a mathematics paper indexed in MathSciNet, you will also have an author profile which you can log into and add a photo too or otherwise edit.

MathSciNet Author Profile Page for Fan Chung, featuring a black and white picture of her and some data like her author id, publication, and citations.

The Journals tab provides the ability to search for publications by name or ISSN.

MathSciNet Search interface with the Journals option chosen and Michigan in the search bar with a drop down that reads Michigan Mathematical Journal I

The results link to a journal profiles with information about the publisher, previous journal names, dates of publication, and how it is indexed in MathSciNet. You will also find links to issues and articles, citation data, and RSS feeds you can subscribe to which will alert you when MathSciNet adds new articles from the journal.

MathSciNet Journal Page for the Michigan Mathematical Journal featuring links to the recently indexed issues and data about the journal like title, pu