The references cited by papers in the four volumes of international journal titledMathematical Programming (Math. Prog.) published in 1997 were surveyed. The most frequently cited journal was found to be Math. Prog. itself. Generally, the cited references were found to be heavily concentrated on particular journals or books by particular publishers specialised in particular specialties. Despite the historical background having originated from mathematics and economics and having developed together with the development of business administration, works in these specialties were found to be rarely cited. The research field of mathematical programming was hereby judged to have formed its own closed specialty, having rather isolated itself from others in a self-sufficient way. Its shift from economic, regional or business planning to the experiment design or the engineering design was observed.
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