This is a proposal to the Bookogs community for making a naming convention for periodicals.
Please wait with replies, until it is complete.

Postings will be divided in:
What are periodicals and how many are there?
Why a naming convention for periodicals?
Proposal with explanation
Open questions
Benefits and drawbacks
What needs to be done?

I tried to format with Markdown for easier reading, but some mismatches might occur.
When any proposal or changes are agreed upon, I'll make a new version with corrections applied.
Then any errors with Markdown will be corrected also, hopefully.

What are periodicals and how many are there?
There are many publications, that can be considered a periodical.
According to Wikipedia

Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial publications that appear in a new edition on a regular schedule. The most familiar example is the magazine, typically published weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Newspapers, often published daily or weekly, are, strictly speaking, a separate category of serial. Other examples of periodicals are newsletters, literary magazines (literary journals), academic journals (including scientific journals), science magazines, yearbooks and comic books.

If we look at the format field in bookogs, we can recognize quite a few of them.
bedsheet magazine
digest (if not in book format)
Pulp magazine
* Zine

UlrichsWeb, an authoritative database in this field, has over 330.000 (mostly active) periodical titles with accompanying metadata. They span the whole globe, but state there are significant ommisions in their coverage. Two of the largest countries (China and India) are far from complete, because of lack of accurate information. They don't cover all kinds of comics, e-Zines, fanclub newsleters or other private zines. So these have to be added also.

To calculate how many periodical titles are issued yearly, I make some assumptions:
Total active periodical titles, based on above information: 350.000
On average each title has 20 issues per year (this is highly speculative but based on dailies, weeklies, monthlies etc.)

So, I suspect there are 350.000 x 20 = 7.000.000 active individual periodical issues per year. And this is without all the titles that have folded since 1663, the year in which the first to-be-called magazine was launched in Germany.
I wouldn't dare to make a calculated guess how much individual periodical issues have seen the light of day since then.

In short, nobody knows what periodicals have been published and which are still available somehow.

Why a naming convention for periodicals?
In Bookogs, we have discussions about when and how to make entries.
The most recent one was: What is the current practice with credit hijacking in this database?
In that discussion a book and a magazine had the same title: Vision. There was no way to distuingish them on title only.

Then, if we look to currently entered records for periodicals, we see all kinds of different periodical and issue titles.
To see what I mean, you only have to look at the magazine overview page.
A few title variations I saw:
"ЮТ" Для Умелых Рук 1989/03 - with year/month in numbers format and quotes around title
(À Suivre) 68 - where 68 is the issue number
1,001 Home Ideas (September 1990) - with month in text/year format between brackets
11 Freunde #199 (Sonderheft WM 2018) - where #19 reflects issue number and only year is mentioned
5 Perc Angol 2011 augusztus - with year/month in Hungarian text
576 KByte 1993. július-augusztus - with year/month in Hungarian text and a . in between
7 Jours TV (Vol 8. No. 15) - with volume and number mentioned, but no week/month/year
7 Jours (October 27, 2010) - with month in letters day, year
And there are many more.

Then, there is another problem regarding publication of periodicals in different countries or languages, but with the same title. Take for instance National Geographic: it is currently published in around 40 local-language editions.
Many more examples can be given, e.g.: Playboy, Reader's Digest, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Voque,
How are we going to distinguish them?

The big problem with all those variations is automatic sorting by computer. It is virtually impossible. But also for our community it is difficult to interprete and search for all those different titles.
So, to improve the user experience of Bookogs and to improve reuse of data, it is imperative to improve data quality by implementing naming conventions for periodicals.

Proposal with explanation
As I posted in the earlier mentioned Bookogs thread, I use a standard format for my own administrative periodicals database.
for the periodical title: Periodical title (CC) [yyyy-yyyy]
for individual issues: Periodical title (CC) yyyymmdd v000 n000 i000

Explanation in case of Visions discussion mentioned above
Periodical title: Visions
CC (ISO 3166-2 Countrycode of publishing): DE
1st yyyy (first year of publication): 1992
2nd yyyy (last year of publication): present
Complete Periodical title would then become:
Visions (DE) [1992-present]

Complete issues titles would then become:
Visions (DE) 20140400 i253
Volume and volume number are unknown so will not be used.

If any of the date parts are unknown, I use 00. This to prevent the format from being incomplete, which will hamper the automated sorting process.

As periodical title I always use the text as stated on the issue.
Take for example Future (Science) Fiction
It had a multitude of names over time. By using the actual used title in combination with first and last used year, it is easier to determine if you are using the correct periodical title when entering records.

An example of how this might look in Bookogs overview pages:

De Wervelwind

Open questions
Some things I have not covered yet:
How to deal with periodicals that have season issues (spring, summer, autumn, winter?
How to deal with other unknown, but necessary data?
How to deal with publications of international NGO's, which often don't mention country code?
Same goes for other virtual cooperations of people working together via internet?

Any more questions might arise during our discussions.

How to deal with same issues, published in the same country, but in different languages?
For now, I use a combination of ISO country code and language code e.g. (BE-fr or BE-nl).
But there might be a better solution to this.

Benefits and drawbacks
Benefits of a uniform way to enter periodical records are:
1. Automated sorting by computer can be done easier
results in (external) search engines will be more accurate
2. It is easier for members and visitors to search for specific issues
3. On entry, no one will have to make up the correct names
4. Data quality will improve drastically, which will encourage reuse or cross-references and -linking
from other sites

Drawbacks will be:
1. Everyone has to use the naming convention, otherwise uniformity will not be reached
2. Members, entering periodicals, must be asked to use the naming convention. It might prove difficult to get all our members on the same page for using a generic naming convention.
3. Lots of already entered periodicals must be changed, but that can be done gradually.
4. It will take a bit more time before a periodical can be entered, since start and end years plus country codes must be looked for. Also issue title will need a bit more work, since more information is incorporated.

There are many more benefits and drawbacks, but in my opinion, these are the most important.

What needs to be done?

  1. Current periodicals in Bookogs are to be corrected according to the agreed upon conventions.
  2. Agreed upon naming convention needs to be rewritten and placed into the Wiki.
  3. All periodicals are to be completed with periodical title, since lots of them now lack that information.
  4. Staff might look into queries to identify and list all perodicals to make it easier and quicker to change them.
  5. New members that enter periodicals need to be pointed towards the agreed upon naming conventions.
  6. ..... [anything I have forgotten to write about].....

That's it for now
As far as I can see, most is mentioned.

well done, I think we could use the periodical title right now. This is easy, because only one field has to be changed for every magazine and can be adapted for new entries without problems.
As for the issue title - I think we should handle this more flexible. My experiences with discogs tell me that this kind of "complex" structure will not work in an open database. But we don't need this. If you can identify the correct magazine, you can sort it by release date (not available here at the moment).

very good proposal. the only thing I think that you haven't taken into consideration is what to do for periodicals that change name or numbering convention over time.

in a library database we have spec ial fields that are just for linking to the previous or subsequent title. or possibly the works page can be redefined for periodicals to be the title page that would collect all that high level data, it is rare for periodicals to have unique copies of the same issue, less rare with comics but they are not added in this database.

My experiences with discogs tell me that this kind of "complex" structure will not work in an open database.

After thinking this a bit, this is the unfortunate truth, and I'm afraid it's the same thing with the periodical title. Extra guidelines and having to research ISO codes and the years is not the easiest option.

The proposal would work fine in a more controlled workplace environment like a library or an archive; or if it was something constructed by the system (all the data is already there in their respective fields).

The majority of the site's users are not and will not be professional archivists. In Discogs the standard users often get frustrated and overwhelmed with the guidelines, and there's nothing there that would be even close to the level of standardization suggested here. Unfortunately the nature of open databases means that consistency is more difficult to achieve - especially without a system that supports it.

Also, considering that we have 15,000+ magazines already in the database, updating them manually is an enormous task, even if you do it gradually. Add teaching the system to old and new users with a faulty commmunication system and you will have work cut out for you for several years.

That said, I have nothing against trying to come up with some guidelines regarding periodical titles. We should just keep in mind the submission process, we should try to avoid adding too much to the burden.

Thanks for the replies. :D I'll come back later on them.

First, I want to mention another issue that occured to me when thinking it over. I didn't thought of that earlier.

My date format is based on the Gregorian calender, the de facto international standard since late 1800's. Most of the publications in Bookogs are also based on this. I didn't come across something else.

But what about publications for which another calender is used to state the date of publication?
Take for example Hebrew books, they use the Hebrew calender. For arabic publications the Islamic calender is used and for Asian publications it might be the Budhist or Hindu calender.

For more information about calenders, see:
Wikipedia - Calenders in use

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