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Suggested pre-submit checklist

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Checklist

☐ The sequence is not already in the OEIS in any shape or form.
☐ You can provide at least four terms of the sequence.
☐ The terms of the sequence as you have it are absolutely correct.
☐ You can give a short description or definition of the sequence.
☐ The short description or definition uses only standard terminology (not TeX, not Mathematica).
☐ You have references to books and journals that are directly relevant to the sequence.
☐ You have checked that all external links work at the time you submit the sequence.
☐ You have given one or two examples (unless your sequence is very simple).
☐ Any programs given will run on a fresh start of Mathematica/gp/Maple/etc. (to make sure you have not overlooked some library or definition dependence).
☐ The cross-references to other sequences are directly and obviously relevant to the sequence under consideration.
☐ You have either keyword:nonn or keyword:sign, and have added other keywords that apply.

Explanation

Once I have assured myself that a particular sequence which I'm studying can be of interest to others, I still like to put it through a pre-submit checklist. At first I didn't have my own checklist, I just made sure the sequence met the requirements for the Submit page in the Main OEIS (though those requirements are included in this checklist and are printed in green boldface italic). Gradually I added other things to my checklist and it's gotten long enough that it helps me to have it written down.

This is by no means intended to legislate, for after all, there are some interesting sequences which would fail this checklist. Though it does help for one to understand why the sequence does not pass the checklist and thus be able to explain the value of the sequence being listed in the OEIS. But keep in mind that even if it is obvious to you why a sequence is interesting, it might not be obvious at all to the next person who looks at the sequence!

  • You have provided your name.
  • The terms of the sequence as you have it are absolutely correct. If you used a calculator or computer to compute it, you have double-checked a few terms by hand; or if you computed it by hand you've used a calculator or computer to check all terms obtained by hand. (Beware of precision issues with calculators, which may chop off significant nonzero digits for numbers greater than 1010).
    • However, if you have an erroneous version that appeared in a book or math or scientific journal, it is reasonable to assume that people will look it up in the OEIS and will then hopefully be pointed to the correct version; therefore such erroneous sequences belong in the OEIS, marked as such.
  • The sequence is not already in the OEIS in any shape or form. You have searched for it by omitting initial or trivial terms and terms that may be open to interpretation.
    • However, a sequence that is already in the OEIS may be worth adding if you can show that there is a non-matching term beyond term visibility and that it is a coincidence that so many terms match.
      • Or even if the sequences completely match except for their initial terms, if you can show your version of the sequence will also be looked up by other researchers then it is still worth adding. For example, in the sums of numbers in the Collatz trajectory (3, 49, 7, 36, 55, 288, 15, ...) some people will compute a1 = 8 (since they regard the reaching of 1 as essential) and others will compute a1 = 1 (as they feel that since it's already at 1 there is no need to reach it again). Therefore, both versions of the sequence are in the OEIS. In such a case it might be a good idea to add the comment "Main entry for this sequence is Axxxxxx."
      • If you decide not to submit the new sequence because of duplication, it would be helpful to check the existing sequence for a comment or formula worth adding to that sequence.
  • You can provide at least four terms of the sequence. Exceptions to this are extremely rare; in fact, the only exception I can think of is A007540, the Wilson primes, of which only three are known, and the fourth term, even when it is confirmed, is much too long to list fully written out.
  • You can provide about sixty terms (unless the sequence is finite and short).
  • You can give a short description or definition of the sequence.
  • The short description or definition uses only terminology that can be found in a standard math dictionary, and basic algebra with variables and operators.
    • Mathematica terminology belongs in the Mathematica field only, and TeX belongs in the wiki side of the OEIS, where it can be rendered. For example, "golden ratio squared" or "phi^2" instead of "GoldenRatio^2"; "sum of first n primes" rather than "\sum_{i = 1}^n p_i"
    • If you must absolutely invent new terminology in the description or definition of the sequence, it helps if the basis for the new terminology is easily explained in the comments in reference to standard math terminology.
      • Also, you have avoided vanity for yourself, your family or friends, unless those persons had some direct relation on the sequence, such as is the case with the Smith numbers. (To get a sequence named after yourself, you need others to name it after you—see, e.g., A005132, A090822, A083207, and A185956.)
    • There's more info on terminology in the Style Sheet.
  • In the case of linear recurrences, be sure to add the signature.
  • Comments address anything in the other fields which might not be self-explanatory.
  • You have references to books and journals that are directly relevant to the sequence, which at least mention or suggest properties of the sequence even if they don't actually list any terms.
  • You have checked that all external links work at the time you submit the sequence. (But it's not your fault if the links break afterwards).
  • You can express formulas, recurrences, generating functions, etc., in symbols using computer programming source code arithmetic operators like "*" for multiplication and "^" for exponentiation.
  • You have given one or two examples.
    • In the case of very simple arithmetic formulas, an example might not be helpful and the entry can do without it (this should be decided on a case-by-case basis). It is when formulas get a little more complicated, or have dependencies on other sequences, that examples really help. 'Examples' that say only "a(1) = 3, a(2) = 47" are unhelpful and should not be added.
    • If the sequence involves some conditionals (e.g., "numbers coprime to all earlier terms"), you have also given an example of a number not in the sequence.
    • In the case of decimal (or other base) expansions of a rational or irrational number, the example field is used to show the number with its decimal point, e.g., 3, 1, 4, 1, 5, 9, ... the example field reads 3.14159...
    • In the case of number triangles, the example field can show the sequence with its rows clearly delineated.
  • Any Mathematica programs given will run on a freshly started kernel. (This is to make sure you have not overlooked some library or definition dependence).
  • The cross-references to other sequences are directly and obviously relevant to the sequence under consideration. In particular, cross-refs to A000027 need to be necessary, and not just a way of lengthening a definition where n or some other iterating variable would suffice.
  • You have considered each of the keywords and selected the ones that apply. (But keyword:new should be automatically taken care of without you having to do anything).
    • For a description of each keyword, see the help file (or, if that doesn't help, see User:Charles R Greathouse IV/Keywords).
    • You have either keyword:nonn or keyword:sign and are sure which keyword applies to the sequence under consideration. Our current system automatically assigns nonn or sign based only on the terms that you enter in the Data field but you can override if necessary (e.g., you enter a sequence of positive terms but you know there is a negative term at, say, the millionth term).
      • However, it may be unknown whether an important sequence has any negative terms, in which case, there is a comment to that effect.
    • If the sequence is completely additive, a comment to that effect might be in order, in addition to (unfortunately not yet supported) keyword:add (Additive).
    • If the sequence is completely multiplicative, a comment to that effect might be in order, in addition to keyword:mult (Multiplicative).
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