The journal Experimental Mathematics was founded in 1992 by David Epstein, Silvio Levy and Klaus Peters. The launching of the journal in 1992 was surrounded by some controversy in the mathematical community about the value and validity of experimentation in mathematical research. Some critics of the new journal suggested that it be renamed as the "Journal of Unproved Theorems". In a 1995 article in the Notices of the American Mathematical Society, in part responding to such criticism, David Epstein and Silvio Levy described the journal's aims as follows:"But the main difference reflects the philosophy above: we are interested not only in theorems and proofs but also in the way in which they have been or can be reached. Note that we do value proofs: experimentally inspired results that can be proved are more desirable than conjectural ones. However, we do publish significant conjectures or explorations in the hope of inspiring other, perhaps better-equipped researchers to carry on the investigation. The objective of Experimental Mathematics is to play a role in the discovery of formal proofs, not to displace them."
Experimental Mathematics was the first mathematical research journal to concentrate on experimental mathematics and to explicitly acknowledge its importance for mathematics as a general research field. The journal's launching was described as "something of a watershed".
In recent years a number of other research journals in pure mathematics have substantially expanded their coverage of experimental mathematics. Thus in 2004 the Journal of Algebra launched a new section called "Computational Algebra".
Despite the initial controversy, the journal Experimental Mathematics quickly established a solid reputation and is now a highly respected mathematical publication. The journal is reviewed cover-to-cover in Mathematical Reviews and Zentralblatt MATH and is indexed cover-to-cover in the Web of Science. According to the 2007 issue of Journal Citation Reports, the journal Experimental Mathematics had the impact factor of 0.575.