Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

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Policies & Practices > Should Goodreads have Magazines?

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message 1: by Nathan (last edited Oct 30, 2011 01:44PM) (new)

Nathan Hodson (shieldon) | 11 comments http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/6...
That is my comment. I think that we should make it policy to allow magazines onto Goodreads. Goodreads is about reading, and you still can read magazines.


message 2: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulaan) | 7027 comments If you look at the About Us section it tells you

What Is Goodreads?
Goodreads is the largest site for readers and book recommendations in the world. We have more than 6,200,000 members who have added more than 210,000,000 books to their shelves. A home for casual readers and bona-fide bookworms alike, Goodreads users recommend books, compare what they are reading, keep track of what they've read and would like to read, find their next favorite book, form book clubs and much more. Goodreads was launched in December 2006.

Our Mission
Goodreads' mission is to help people find and share books they love. Along the way, we plan to improve the process of reading and learning throughout the world.


message 3: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Hodson (shieldon) | 11 comments That is not what I meant. I titled it to bring up an issue. I will change the title.


message 4: by Paula (last edited Oct 30, 2011 01:47PM) (new)

Paula (paulaan) | 7027 comments There are a number of threads discussing this:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/6... is one - Msg 9 is the GR position as of Sept 2011

The unofficial policy is they are not encouraged to be added but should not be deleted if found.

If you do a search in this group you will find other discussions.

Edit: In addition, the about us - uses only the word books !


message 5: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Hodson (shieldon) | 11 comments Actually, I think that they should be encouraged, instead of being discouraged. Because, you can read them, and Goodreads is all about reading, right? In fact, 4/9 of the title is "Read".


message 6: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulaan) | 7027 comments I disagree the database does not properly support the appropriate dataset for them like ISSNs or provide any way to filter out of searches and I do not want to wade through pages and pages of magazines.

GR was designed as a book database, Once things are in place to support magazinesI have no problem with them being included.


message 7: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Hodson (shieldon) | 11 comments Then why aren't we setting that up? It seems to me that while you are ready to call it Goodreads, you are not ready to actually support all reading material, like EBooks.


message 8: by Brooke (new)

Brooke | 46 comments Nathan, eBooks are supported, is there a reason why you think they aren't? If an eBook version of a book exists from a bookseller but isn't in the GR database already, you can add it in. I have used GR to track all the eBooks I read, and the status update switches to a % when an eBook edition is selected.


message 9: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments Endless, pointless (not to be rude) argument. Magazines/journals are allowed, if not encouraged,according to "the rules". That seems to be the policy. Deleting magazines is inappropriate, since they are allowed, if not encouraged.


message 10: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 554 comments I think the issue is that the staff and volunteer librarians are overburdened already keeping up with the database as it is and maintaining the interface. Magazines would complicate things severely. I'd rather GR staff spent their time adding the ability to track re-reads, as well as a number of other improvements in the works.


message 11: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments It's a point. On the other hand, I'd rather have the magazines, so it's a matter of what's important to who(m).


message 12: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 593 comments My personal opinion is that magazines should be excluded from the database.

But it would be nice to see Goodreads reach a solid decision either way.


message 13: by Experiment BL626 (last edited Jan 02, 2012 11:59AM) (new)

Experiment BL626 | 358 comments mlady_rebecca wrote: "My personal opinion is that magazines should be excluded from the database.

But it would be nice to see Goodreads reach a solid decision either way."


Same here, likewise for why comic books aren't on GR either. =/

And don't take the "reads" in "Goodreads" too literally. I'll just quote what Lobstergirl said in another thread said:
I don't think we should read too much into the name Goodreads. Let's acknowledge that every single thing that can be read is not appropriate or desirable in the database: brochures, newspapers, memos, emails, signage, the backs of cereal boxes.



message 14: by Eva Marie (last edited Oct 31, 2011 10:02AM) (new)

Eva Marie (evamarie3578) | 755 comments I agree with mlady_rebecca. I personally wouldn't like to see magazines added. As a librarian I think it would be totally over the top. It's hard enough to keep a book listing correct.

An idea for Nathan - why not make a website for magazines if this is important to you? Start one. You may find that something small grows into something large.
Instead of "changing" this or another site, start one of your very own. I'm sure you could find people to support and join immediately.


message 15: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bpez) | 1 comments I also agree. Most of my work involves serials, and the idea of keeping track of them within GoodReads seems far too complicated. For example--journals and magazines change publishers and titles frequently (more than you might even realize). How would you even include them in the database? Where would you put the date range, and the issue numbering? Would each issue get their own record? How could you show relationships between journals--for example, "Western Political Quarterly" changed its name to "Political Research Quarterly", but kept the issue numbering continuous. How would you reflect that in GoodReads? I think it's far more complicated than you realize, to include "magazines" and the like. GoodReads would have to make significant alterations to their record format to adapt, and there are already more than enough books in the world to keep everybody busy.

Eva's right. If you want something to keep track of magazines and articles, create your own website. Obviously some people feel strongly about it.


message 16: by Gerd (last edited Oct 31, 2011 10:06AM) (new)

Gerd | 1039 comments Much as I would like to see magazines added, especially story magazines, I fear it would just end up in chaos - and I'm not sure how useful it would be to the average reader.

Better keep tracking magazines to devoted collecter sites.


message 17: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 362 comments Magazines are "ephemeral." bookcrossing.com is stricter than goodreads about not including these, because how often does someone save an intact *Women's Day* and share or shelve and re-read it? Not *nearly* so often as books are shared etc.... They really are a different category.

Audio and e-books, otoh, are not ephemeral, they are just different editions of books. (At least they could be - though of course nowadays there are lots of e-books that may never get bound.) So I agree that certainly we include those.

I agree a separate website for magazines would be good.


message 18: by Bill (new)

Bill (kernos) | 23 comments An excellent site for comics (which are magazines) is http://comics.org IMO, something like this would need doing for other types of magazines.


message 19: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 19, 2011 03:50PM) (new)

If this site is for only books, then why doesnt the GR staff delete the groups in which books are not even talked about?


message 20: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41655 comments Mod
Ariana wrote: "If this site is for only books, then why doesnt the GR staff delete the groups in which books are not even talked about?"

Groups can be about much more than books. In any case, this group is not about this sort of issue.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

oh
okay, i was just wondering


message 22: by F. (new)

F. (therealramey) | 1 comments I know that it would be a massive drain on Goodreads staff but perhaps a future project would be some sort of sister site where a user can sign up if they want for both and have a single profile linking them between the two? I don't think that we should be putting magazines on here unless there is a special exception. Magazines generally don't get read cover to cover, there is always something that is skipped. I bought an issue of Time about a month ago for a specific article and ended up reading about half the magazine, but the other half was less than uninteresting to me. You would end up having people trying to list issues of things that they picked up for five minutes in a doctors office.


message 23: by Orsolya (new)

Orsolya (orsolya_d) | 4 comments I think it would be difficult to review a magazine for the additional reason that the articles are written by different contributors, making the overall arc or flow difficult to comment on. Yes, it can still be given an overall account, but it isn't the same as a book by one or a couple of authors.

Personally, I like GR sticking to just books.


message 24: by Brittany (last edited Dec 20, 2011 12:10PM) (new)

Brittany (weareattached) | 43 comments Goodreads users can add magazines, it's just not encouraged.


message 25: by Jason (new)

Jason W Dean (eloquentlight) | 3 comments There's also the immense effort of keeping each magazine up to date. Imagine how much work GR users would have to do to keep each issue (and a Table of Contents) entered for a weekly or even bi-weekly magazine!


message 26: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulaan) | 7027 comments Nickname wrote: "Brittany wrote: "Goodreads users can add magazines, it's just not encouraged."

OK, so, users it's not encouraged but Amazon imported it automatically."


There are a lot of things that Amazon imports like DVD's and Calendars - those items get NAB'd by Librarians as would / will magazines depending on librarians.


message 27: by MissJessie (last edited Dec 20, 2011 04:25PM) (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments But, if the statement "Goodreads users can add mags, it's just not encouraged." is true,

that's the answer. Any further discussion is really pointless (not that you can't talk about it, I don't mean that) but apparently, that's the answer.

Any different action would be contrary to the apparent policy.

And besides, aren't there enough other things to do with the database that are really constructive, like fixing punctuation, incorrectly entered authors, titles, and who knows what else?


message 28: by Paula (new)

Paula (paulaan) | 7027 comments Amazon data is not perfect hence why librarians clean up the data on books imported from amazon and from other sources.

Librarians do not control the amazon import hence why we need to use the NOT A BOOK option on DVD's and other non book items - Amazon give ISBN's to a lot of items that are not books which is why they import


message 29: by Zeljka (new)

Zeljka (ztook) | 57 comments I apologize for intrusion so late in the discussion, but I wonder what to do if you have a collection of stories that was published once a month -- for an example, in Croatia/ex-Yugoslavia we had a science fiction magazine called Sirius, 164 issues overall from 1977 to 1989, that published solely short sf stories, of renowned foreign (and domestic) sf authors, like Asimov, Anderson, Leinster, Lem etc. They do not have ISBN, but I personally would like to add them, with their covers and contents.


message 30: by RB (new)

RB (rblindberg) | 31 comments Experiment wrote: "mlady_rebecca wrote: "My personal opinion is that magazines should be excluded from the database.

But it would be nice to see Goodreads reach a solid decision either way."

Same here, likewise fo..."


I agree, magazines should, as such, not be part of the GR database. At least not if we want to include everything published. It's not like other printed publications such as calendars or news papers are on GR, and they shouldn't be either, and I think that we all can agree on why that is.

Someone mentioned earlier that comic books (aka graphic novels) are not in the GR database. They are, I find that more than justifiable - for as works of fiction they definitely deserve to be listed.

So I think that one needs to distinguish and define what type of magazine's should be included? Which magazines are we considering? Are we talking about Computer magazines? Crosswords? Teen-magazines? Women's magazines? Body building magazines? Cosmopolitan? Playboy? Hustler? TV-Guide? Vouge? National Geographic?
To me the answer is a clear "no" to all of the above.

To Zelijka: your publication sounds like an anthology - and in this case it should be listed, I believe. Besides, not all books have ISBN's.


message 31: by Zeljka (new)

Zeljka (ztook) | 57 comments Rita wrote: "To Zelijka: your publication sounds like an anthology - and in this case it should be listed, I believe. Besides, not all books have ISBN's. ."

Yes, it might be compared with Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, there are no ads inside, only stories, translated in Croatian of course. Thank you for response - maybe I'll give it soon a try, one or two issues per day, what an appropriate start of a new year :-) By the way, happy New Year and best wishes to everyone!


message 32: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Rita wrote: "Someone mentioned earlier that comic books (aka graphic novels) are not in the GR database. They are, I find that more than justifiable - for as works of fiction they definitely deserve to be listed."

I'm just chiming in here to clarify: single comic book issues, like single magazine issues, are not considered "books" for GR's purposes. However, comic book issues can be bound as books and those books are cataloged on GR. This has nothing to do with whether or not they're fiction; non-fiction books are cataloged on GR as well. It has to do with the way these items are traditionally cataloged: an issue of a serial publication is not cataloged as a book; a book in an ongoing series is cataloged as a book. The "magazine (serial) vs anthology (book)" decision hinges on this history.

For an example of comic books, Batwoman: Elegy was originally published as seven issues of Detective Comics. Batwoman: Elegy is a book, specifically what comics publication calls a "trade" book; Detective Comics #854 is not a book.

For an example of fiction and non-fiction in anthology, The Year's Best Science Fiction, Twenty-Third Annual Collection and The Best American Science Writing 2006 are both books; they are both anthology collections in ongoing series.


message 33: by MissJessie (last edited Jan 02, 2012 08:09PM) (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments To repeat:

But, if the statement "Goodreads users can add mags, it's just not encouraged." is true,

that's the answer. Any further discussion is really pointless (not that you can't talk about it, I don't mean that) but apparently, that's the answer.

Any different action would be contrary to the apparent policy.


message 34: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Alex wrote: "Do we differentiate between types of magazines?"

Only in the sense that some journals are considered sufficiently "book-like" in their presentation to be catalogued as books and others aren't. It has nothing to do with subject matter.


message 35: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (margaretlandis) | 5 comments So, what is the distinction between a literary journal like "The Paris Review" and a publication like Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine or Asimov's SF? How book-like do they have to be in order to count on Goodreads?

Mostly, I'm asking if it is acceptable to add monthly short story collections like EQMM or Asimov's, which do contain editorials, poetry, short stories, and novellas but are not bound in a particularly sturdy manner.


message 36: by Sara ♥ (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) | 318 comments Betsy wrote: "I'd rather GR staff spent their time adding the ability to track re-reads, as well as a number of other improvements in the works."

*shrugs* I think magazines are more appropriate to GR's overall "mission" than fan fiction, quizzes, trivia, etc., but I really don't care, as long as the GR staff doesn't put any more time into "handling" them as cohesive sets or whatever. I'm with Betsy. I'd rather GR work on re-reads!!!!!


message 37: by Krystal109 (new)

Krystal109 | 1086 comments There are a lot more things that I'd rather have working than support for magazines.

I personally don't like that fanfictions are allowed, but it's not my call and they CAN be book-length (which magazines rarely are).

Like they said, it isn't NOT allowed, but it is discouraged. It is your choice.


message 38: by Cait (last edited Jul 20, 2012 06:59AM) (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Margaret wrote: "So, what is the distinction between a literary journal like "The Paris Review" and a publication like Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine or Asimov's SF?"

Well, the quick and dirty way to distinguish them is to see if they're already cataloged one way or the other with international standard book numbers or international standard serial numbers:
* if a journal has an ISBN and no ISSN, we'll take it as a book;
* if a journal as an ISSN and no ISBN, we'll consider it a magazine and not a book unless there's some other factor;
* if a journal has both an ISBN and an ISSN, we'll probably take that as a book too;
* if a journal has neither, we're on our own.

(Yes, lots of things end up with ISBNs when they aren't books, but in this particular case it tends to be meaningful!)

"How book-like do they have to be in order to count on Goodreads?"

There's not really a hard and fast rule. Sturdy binding usually helps (perfectbound journals are more book-like than stapled journals or e-journals) and so does non-immediacy of content (a journal of history essays is more likely to be a book than one that's full of current news), but it's generally a case of "make a good argument for it being non-ephemeral".


message 39: by R.J.K. (new)

R.J.K. Lee (rjklee) | 4 comments Why make things less user-friendly by not encouraging something which is a freaking good read (i.e. magazines fiction and non-fiction both)? It's becoming rather irritating to list the sci-fi/fantasy monthly magazines which are a large portion of what I read. Change the policy already and work with us. At least I haven't had to put up with what Nathan had to put up with...


message 40: by MissJessie (last edited Jan 05, 2013 08:40AM) (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments Krystal109 wrote: "There are a lot more things that I'd rather have working than support for magazines.

How are magazines more server/supporter intensive than books? And at the risk of being considered rude, why is your list of reading material more important than others?

Since they irritate you, move on. Ignore them. And what is there to work on with them in particular anyway?? (Yes, I list some magazines such as Cloth Paper Scissors, vintage history mags, etc. These are as important to me (and apparently others) and books are to other people.

Why deliberately P/O people who include them in their libraries? And deleting other people's entries and work is just rude, don't you think?

To repeat (from earlier posts)

"But, if the statement "Goodreads users can add mags, it's just not encouraged." is true,

that's the answer. Any further discussion is really pointless (not that you can't talk about it, I don't mean that) but apparently, that's the answer."


message 41: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Jan 05, 2013 09:01AM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) Well, there's a feedback group with suggestion threads. Might be better having suggested policy changes or new features discussed over there.

Unless you are asking for help adding one of your magazines or have a specific/magazine book issue/question a librarian can help you with?

Not that policies don't get discussed here, but, to really handle magazines well is a new set of features and database functions. And, that's not anything the librarian group can help you with.

I agree with you, particularly on the SF magazines, that there is a good case for thinking of them as an anthology of shorter works including novellas and short stories. Plus now many are as downloadable as ebooks (bypassing the ephemeral rule of thumb.)

Just not something I think librarians are going to somehow change for you; will take programming (i.e., feedback group). And even if changed, if there is no data feed goodreads can use for magazines, well, members will still need to add their magazines themselves.

The fact that goodreads is experimenting with chapter metadata for books to me, if implemented, should encourage the ability to enter a table of contents type of data that would be useful to anthologies, textbooks, cookbooks, and potentially magazines.

Currently following feedback group postings, lots of caching, refreshing ratings, ugb issues and other bugs for programmers to fix right now before getting back to the already years behind to-do list before considering new features (also equally possible a new feature easy to mplement during one of their fixes or other tasks like they just did combining fan/follower on authors)). Not likely if magazine support was implemented that librarians would immediately be involved until after we've finished dealing with all the unknown book/author issues the loss of amazon and other data feeds have left on the site.

But, you can always ask. The feedback group suggestion section is at http://www.goodreads.com/topic/group_... .

(And an older thread on magazines in that group is http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/6... )


Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) Cait wrote: "Margaret wrote: "... but it's generally a case of "make a good argument for it being non-ephemeral". ..."

Does that consideration change for magazines like Asimov's SF/F electronic editions or other digital subscriptions? Basically, just as non-ephemeral as any other ebook.


Michelle Sedai ☆of the Brown Ajah☆ (michellekobus) | 0 comments If mags (periodicals) could be added, then why not newspapers (also periodicals) too? I'm not for adding mags or papers, just that I think it opens the door for a whole lit of mess and clutter on the site, when everything in mags is old news as soon as you read it; mags rarely (if ever) get read again and just collect dust...same on GR. I'm not trying to be mean, and I concede that people that are for adding mags have a point, but I am *personally* against it. (DISCLAIMER: JUST MY ¡OPINION!)


Michelle Sedai ☆of the Brown Ajah☆ (michellekobus) | 0 comments *not everythiing is old news, like fictional stories, but hopefully people understand my meaning regarding that statement


message 45: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Jan 05, 2013 10:45AM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) I agree lines need to be drawn somewhere, particularly with newspapers that are daily editions. Not sure goodreads can handle daily or weekly releases of any reading materials.

The crossover for me are the monthly or slower fiction publications that are basically anthologies (in fact, the stories likely to be re-released in later more traditional book form). Or the non-fiction publications with articles of interest to specific professions and genres (or at least good for research).

Not sure myself if that means allowing short stories and novellas in a published magazine their own entries or if entire magazine should be added . Ditto for the non-fiction articles. But leaning towards the stories/novellas versus trying to track whole magazines including editorials, product reviews, trivia, etc. And see a nightmare as bad as daily newspapers from all over the world trying to keep up with all the specific-to-a-profession journals and magazines (and a lot of the technical journals also run into being so out of date they are useless).

Never want to open the door to everyone's blog posts and all the online only fanzines and such that popup by the minute. Experience says that blogs come and go (and some start up just to get products for review).

Current magazine policy is a good compromise for me. If author publishes books/ebooks or contributes to an anthology and gets an author page on goodreads, I can see why having magazines containing one of their short stories would be allowed. And if members are a big fan of an author they do like a complete list of works. I just think the only way to handle is to let interested members add; don't think goodreads has the resources. Magazines create a site/database umpteen-whatever times the size goodreads currently is.


message 46: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments Debbie (Debbie Rice) wrote: "Does that consideration change for magazines like Asimov's SF/F electronic editions or other digital subscriptions? Basically, just as non-ephemeral as any other ebook."

It's still an edge case, really. The problem still remains that the series and ISBN features on GR just aren't set up to handle serials right now (Barbara has a good explanation of this in message 15 above). Can it be usefully tracked like a series of books, as most "book-like" things can be? Then we can probably do it. Otherwise there's not much point in putting things into the catalog that are just going to frustrate people who are trying to track that they're reading them.

That's what we're really trying to get at, after all: What will be most useful to readers? Book records. What are book records? Things which are most useful to readers.


message 47: by Donald (last edited Jul 17, 2015 02:11PM) (new)

Donald (dongor) | 2 comments A lot of novels first appeared in magazines (or newspapers). Candace Bushnell's Sex and the City grew out of a series of articles in The New York Observer. Jun'ichi Watanabe's A Paradise Lost before it was made into a movie and TV show, started as a series in the Nihon Keizai newspaper. The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction first published Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger and Robert Heinlein's Glory Road. Analog Science Fiction and Fact printed Frank Herbert's Dune and Children of Dune. Rolling Stone put out Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Saturday Evening Post has included novels by Sinclair Lewis, Agatha Christie, Jack London, The Mouse that Roared. Esquire was the first to release Norman Mailer's An American Dream.

It seems likely that some people hold onto magazines like these, and re-read them much as people do with books.


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