Wikisource:Periodical guidelines

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Guidelines for hosting periodicals on Wikisource. Periodicals include newspapers, magazines and academics journals.

Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a published work that appears in a new edition on a regular schedule. The most familiar examples are the newspaper, often published daily, or weekly; or the magazine, typically published weekly, monthly or as a quarterly. Other examples would be a newsletter, a literary journal or learned journal, or a yearbook. These examples are typically published and referenced by volume and issue. "Volume" typically refers to the number of years the publication has been circulated, and "Issue" refers to how many times that periodical has been published during that year. For example, the April 2011 publication of a monthly magazine first published in 2002 would be listed as, "Volume 9, Issue 4." (Roman numerals are sometimes used in reference to the Volume number.) Periodicals can be classifed into two types: popular and scholarly. The popular periodicals are magazine and newspapers, like Ebony and Esquire. The scholarly periodicals are found in libraries and databases. Examples are The Journal of Psychology and the Journal of Social Work. Trade/Professional journals are also examples of periodicals. They are written for an audience of professionals in the field.

In this guideline, "article" refers to any contributions to periodicals; this includes articles, essays, fiction and poetry.

Page structure[edit]

The title of the periodical should be the first page in the main namespace. All volumes, issues and articles should then be subpages of this page. Each possible subdivision should be new level of subpage, with the articles themselves ultimately existing as subpages of the issue, volume or other instance of the periodical (depending on how the periodical was published and released).

For example, the magazine Popular Science Monthly appears as such in the mainspace. The magazine is organised into volumes and these volumes are organised by the date of each issue. So, an article would be a subpage of an issue, which would be subpage of a volume, which would be a subpage of the periodical itself. For instance:

  1. Popular Science Monthly
  2. Popular Science Monthly/Volume 1
  3. Popular Science Monthly/Volume 1/May 1872
  4. Popular Science Monthly/Volume 1/May 1872/The Recent Eclipse of the Sun

This structure will depend on the publication of the original periodical and need not be so complicated. An example of a simpler page structure would be as follows:

  1. Avon Fantasy Reader
  2. Avon Fantasy Reader/Issue 10
  3. Avon Fantasy Reader/Issue 10/The Statement of Randolph Carter


The complete chain of subpages can be unwieldy when viewed in the Category namespace, unhelpful for search purposes and can break incoming links from sister projects. To overcome this, a redirect can be made.

To do so, a new page is started with the name of the article and the text:

#REDIRECT [[Full pagename of the periodical and article]]

For example, The Recent Eclipse of the Sun redirects with #REDIRECT [[Popular Science Monthly/Volume 1/May 1872/The Recent Eclipse of the Sun]] and The Statement of Randolph Carter redirects with #REDIRECT [[Avon Fantasy Reader/Issue 10/The Statement of Randolph Carter]].

Further, categories can be added to the redirect page instead of the article itself. When viewed in the Category namespace, these pages will be seen in italics. This helps to keep the category pages easy to read and uncluttered by long series of full pagenames.


Flowchart for US copyright (of US-published works)

There are two copyrights to consider with periodicals:

  1. The issue of the periodical itself;
  2. Each article (and image) published in the periodical.

If the issue of the periodical is still under copyright (for instance, if it was published between 1929 and 1963 and the copyright was renewed) then it is probable that all of the articles within the issue are also still under copyright. This may not be the case if the periodical was only sold first printing rights but this requires proof and cannot be assumed. This only applies if the renewal was made during the lifetime of the author. If an author died before the copyright renewal date then all rights reverted to the author's estate and the publisher no longer had any right to renew the copyright on the author's work.

Even if the issue of the periodical is not under copyright, each article within the issue needs to be considered separately. It was possible for contributions to periodicals to have their copyrights renewed by the author or their estate. If an article is under copyright, it may not be hosted on Wikisource but it does not affect the copyright status of the remainder of the periodical.

Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]