Who publishes in PRIMUS and who reads it?

One thing that was of great interest to the Editorial Board of PRIMUS at the last annual Board meeting (held at JMM in Denver in January 2020) was the geographical contrast between authorship and readership. Taylor & Francis is able to share some data on this for the interest of PRIMUS readers.

Submissions since the beginning of 2017 have shown that the authorship of PRIMUS is very heavily based in the USA. The following map shows submitting countries, with darker weighting showing higher submission numbers:

This pattern is even more pronounced when looking at this data in chart form (specific numbers not shown). It is clear that submitting authors are primarily from the United States:

However, this pattern of authorship is contrasted with the readership pattern. Here is a pie chart showing the broad regions where PRIMUS was read globally online during 2019:

As you can see although the journal originated in the USA, has 100% of its board based in the USA and Canada, and the greater majority of its authors also based there, the readership is global. This is in light of the fact that a fair proportion of journal downloads come from MAA members who get free access as a benefit of their membership. A little over 50% of downloads were from readers based outside of the USA and Canada, with significant levels of access in Europe, Asia, and Australasia. We can look at specific countries in the following pie chart, which shows the top 20 countries by number of readers:

Again the USA is the biggest source of readers, but in this final chart it is an overall minority, and we can see the broad diversity of readership.

What can this tell us? Here are some thoughts:

  • The research PRIMUS publishes is of global consequence and interest.
  • PRIMUS has a broad international reach beyond the USA and Canada.
  • The Editorial Board is representative of the journal authorship.
  • The Editorial Board is not representative of the journal readership.
  • It may be prudent to expand the Editorial Board to give PRIMUS a more international reach so as to engage more effectively with the international mathematics education community. This is something the PRIMUS Editors are actively pursuing.

Paul Naish,
Global Head of Mathematics,
Taylor & Francis Journals
Email: paul.naish@tandf.co.uk
Twitter: @PaulNaish78

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