Web Magazine for Information Professionals

The Secondary Homepages in Mathematics Initiative

Greig Fratus, MathGate Manager, supplies information about the Secondary Homepages in Mathematics initiative set up by Math-Net.

An initiative of Math-Net [1], the Secondary Homepage is a template that aims to sort the types of information usually found on departmental websites in mathematics into standardised sections and labels. By offering a user-friendly navigation and search, the Secondary Homepage overcomes the problem of significantly differing departmental homepages. As implied by the name, the Secondary Homepage is not meant to replace the department's homepage but rather to offer users another way of accessing information that is available on the department's website. MathGate [2] is attempting to coordinate the UK version of this.

Math-Net is an Internet Information Service for mathematicians, and the Secondary Homepage is only part of what they do. They also offer a searchable index for German mathematical resources (SIGMA), a searchable index of preprints from several countries including Austria, France and Germany, a collection of links to mathematical web resources, Persona Mathematica which allows the user to find German mathematicians, and a software search. The Math-Net charter has been endorsed by the International Mathematical Union's Committee for Electronic Information and Communication [3].

The Secondary Homepage is divided into six sections and each of these six sections is divided into "labels" that relate to information about the department:

  • General - About Us, Organisation, Beginner's Guide, Math and School, Service for Visitors
  • People - Faculty / Staff, Students, Associates / Visitors
  • News - Schedule of Events, Communications, Positions
  • Research - Research Groups, Preprints / Publications, Projects, Software
  • Teaching - Curricula, Lectures, Course Materials
  • Information Services - Libraries, Journals, Bibliographic Search

In making a Secondary Homepage, the links would be made from each of the labels to the relevant information. The page would also contain a prominent link to the department's actual homepage and to the institution's homepage. There is also the option of putting in a search box and linking to other information providers such as MathGate or Math-Net. When created, the page is placed in a folder on the department's website and is maintained by the department.

Currently in the UK there are thirteen secondary homepages in existence. The information provided by these institutions can be seen on the Math-Net website in the UK region, and they are listed below along with their URLs. For more information about Secondary Homepages in the UK please contact Greig Fratus, MathGate Manager, Tel: 0121 414 2758, email: G.J.Fratus@bham.ac.uk

UK Secondary Homepages URLs


  1. Math-Net at http://www.math-net.org/
  2. MathGate at http://www.mathgate.ac.uk/
  3. International Mathematical Union's Committee for Electronic Information and Communication at http://www.mathunion.org/

Author Details

Greig Fratus
MathGate Manager
Main Library
Information Services
The University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham

Email: G.J.Fratus@bham.ac.uk