Wikipedia:Notability (periodicals)

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This essay reflects one view of the community's current consensus about the notability of periodicals, including magazines, newspapers, academic journals, and similar periodic publications. This is not an official policy or an official guideline of Wikipedia; it is rather an essay that proposes a guideline.

For the purposes of this suggested guideline, a periodical is a recognized published work that appears in a new edition on a regular schedule.[1][2][3] This suggested guideline covers the kinds of periodicals that are formally published, that is they (usually after 1974) have an ISSN code, are circulated in libraries or other reference sources, and (usually or often) appear in paper. A few periodicals may be notable despite lacking these, and in such rare cases good reasons should be evidenced. Regularly updated and reissued reference books (dictionaries, encyclopedias, style guides, legal guides, etc.), and regular publications that are not "works" of the publishing body, are not covered under this suggested guideline. Publications and periodicals falling outside these criteria need to be assessed by reference to other guidelines or the general notability criteria instead.

It is possible for a periodical not to meet the criteria of this suggested guideline but to meet another subject's notability guidelines. Conversely, if a periodical is notable under this suggested guideline, its possible failure to meet other subject's notability guideline is not important.


If a periodical meets any one of the following conditions, as evidenced by citing reliable sources which write significant commentary about the periodical in relation to the specific criteria, it is likely to be notable. If a periodical meets none of these conditions, it may still be notable, if it meets the conditions of WP:Notability or other notability criteria, and the merits of an article on the periodical will depend largely on the extent to which it is verifiable. See the Notes and Examples section below before applying this guideline.

  1. The periodical has made significant impact in its field or other area, such as higher education
  2. The periodical has received a notable award or honor at a national or international level.
  3. The periodical is or was the proceedings of a highly selective and prestigious scholarly society or association (e.g. a National Academy of Sciences or the Royal Society).
  4. The periodical has had regular and significant usage as a citation in academic or scholarly works.[notes 1]

It is possible for a periodical to be notable according to this standard, and yet not be an appropriate topic for coverage in Wikipedia because of a lack of reliable, independent sources on the subject. Every topic on Wikipedia must be one for which sources exist; see Wikipedia:Verifiability.

Other considerations


This would include fanzines and other similar publications. While there are some fanzines which would meet the criteria for inclusion (either the ones listed here, or other notability criteria), most are not going to be notable. By the same token, it should always weigh against an article's inclusion if the publisher or other interested party is the creator of the Wikipedia article. See Wikipedia:Conflict of interest, Wikipedia:Autobiography, and WP:NOTADVERTISING for more information.

Not yet or newly published periodicals

Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. Articles about periodicals that are not yet published are strongly discouraged and such articles are only accepted under criteria other than those provided in this guideline, typically because the anticipation of the periodical is notable in its own right. In such cases there should still be multiple independent sources providing strong evidence that the periodical will be published, which sources include the title of the periodical and an approximate date of first publication.

Additionally, periodicals which have only been published for a short time generally do not meet the threshold for inclusion. Exceptions should be rare and accompanied by multiple independent sources showing notability for such a new publication.

Non-contemporary periodicals

From a pragmatic standpoint, the vast majority of periodicals upon which articles are written which invite a notability judgment call and which find their way to articles for deletion, are from the modern era. Nevertheless, the notability of periodicals published much earlier may occasionally be disputed and the criteria proposed above intended primarily for modern periodicals may not be as suitable. We suggest instead a more common sense approach which considers whether the periodical has been widely cited or written about, whether issues or content have been recently reprinted (note that a flurry of mentions in one context is not by itself good evidence), the fame that the periodical enjoyed in the past and its place in the history of such publications.

Academic journals

Academic journals serve a very different function and come to be published through very different processes than do periodicals intended for the general public. They are often highly specialized, have small printing runs, and may only be available in specialized libraries and bookstores. For these reasons, the bulk of standards delineated previously for mainstream periodicals are incompatible in the academic bailiwick. Again, common sense should prevail. In that case, notability should rely on whether it is published by an academic press,[notes 2] how widely the periodical is cited by other academic publications, papers, or in the media,[notes 3] how influential the periodical is considered to be in its specialty area, or adjunct disciplines, and whether it is taught or required reading in a number of reputable educational institutions.

See also


  1. ^ "Periodical". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved April 22, 2010.
  2. ^ "Periodical". Oxford University Press. Retrieved April 22, 2010.
  3. ^ "Define Periodical". Retrieved April 22, 2010.


  1. ^ A periodical that is considered reliable enough to be used regularly as a reliable source by a large number of other works (especially scholarly and other academic works) is considered notable enough to have an article, just the same as an academic who is highly regarded and widely cited is considered notable per WP:PROF.
  2. ^ Publication by a prominent academic press should be accorded far more weight than the analogous benchmark defined for publication of mainstream periodical by well known commercial publishers, by virtue of the non-commercial nature of such presses, and the peer review process that must be passed before publication is allowed to go forward. See Academic publishing for several such University presses. Note that because a large portion of (en.)Wikipedia articles are written by English speaking people from English speaking nations, this list currently has an English speaking bias.
  3. ^ A periodical's subject may be so specialized, such as in the esoteric math or physics spheres, that only a few hundred (or less) people in the world are situated to understand and comment on the material.