Goodreads Librarians Group discussion

Policies & Practices > Is it ok to add magazines?

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message 1: by HM (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:01PM) (new)

HM I want to know if it is against the goodreads rules to add magazines rather than books?

message 2: by Lisa (not getting friends updates) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:01PM) (new)

Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan (lisavegan) | 2409 comments Ugh. I'm not Goodreads. Guess this is up to Otis & Co. But, I'd be against adding magazines, even ones with great short stories or articles in them. I think the site could get overwhelmed as there are so many magazine, especially if people have many years worth of collections. Besides, they're not books. But, this is just my opinion, from one Goodreads user.

message 3: by HM (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:01PM) (new)

HM You might be right. The only point is that the name "goodreads" is so general and if Otis & Co give me their opinoin my hesitation would be ended.

message 4: by Rindis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:01PM) (new)

Rindis | 20 comments Here's a thread on a similar topic:

There was one on games as well (many moons ago), but I can't seem to find it.

Anyway, my personal take has always been that there's enough problems cleaning up and extending the books database without borrowing trouble. ^_^

I'd love it if there was some kind of competent magazine database. I have some really interesting info and stories buried in back issues. But it's nearly impossible to find any of it.

message 5: by Debbie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:02PM) (new)

Debbie Moorhouse Otis told me in a previous thread that anything published in the form of a book is okay to be added. So I imagine it depends on the magazine's format. I've added some issues of New Worlds SF, frex, because they were published in the form of a paperback book, even tho' New Worlds was really a monthly magazine.

If it looks like a book, quacks like a book....

message 6: by Otis, Chief Architect (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:04PM) (new)

Otis Chandler | 315 comments Mod
Hey all,

Great questions! The name Goodreads does leave us open to other things we read, however if we go the route of magazines/articles/etc it will be done separately from the "book" catalogue. So in the meantime, please keep things on the site to books.

And if you really want articles/comics/magazines/etc, let us know!

message 7: by HM (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:04PM) (new)

HM Dear Otis,

We really want to have magazines and even other types of readable objects here. Specially those are related to book reviews and criticism. This would be so helpful in our discussions and groups

message 8: by Jennifer (last edited Jan 26, 2008 09:07AM) (new)

Jennifer (jrdixey) | 1 comments Hi Rindis,


You'll probably find that a local public library card gives you access to ProQuest (if you're in North America at least). They index a surprising number of popular magazines, and you can search, or just browse back issues.

I realize that for some of us, having to log in to a resource, or getting a library card for that matter, is just too much hassle. But until then, this is at least a usable alternative!


message 9: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 4 comments Just a couple of thoughts about adding magazines:

If Otis & Co. decide that adding magazines is a good idea, we should probably establish a clear definition of what a magazine is. Obviously there are things like People Magazine, Road and Track, and The Atlantic Monthly, which are clearly magazines that can be subscribed to for physical home-delivery, read on their respective websites, and that exist for profit. But what about this: I have a collection of volumes that was produced by one of the universities that I attended as a quarterly collection of literary criticism, does that count as a magazine? If it does, what about the little thirty-ish page, one-issue magazines that my friends created in High School that were meant specifically for local consumption? This could be extended out to informative pamphlets, and on and on after that.

It seems to me that it might be more trouble than it is worth, especially because there is also the question of how to rate something if a person only reads one or two articles in a magazine, instead of the whole thing. I rarely read a magazine cover to cover (although maybe that's just me?).

Anyway, just a couple of thoughts, I'll shut up now.

message 10: by Tentatively, (new)

Tentatively, Convenience (tentativelyaconvenience) | 15 comments I'm very new to this & don't know who "Otis & co" are, eg - I take it that they're the founders of GoodReads? Or administrators primarily responsible for certain pratical issues? Anyway, I'm all in favor of including any carriers of info. Such inclusions are part & parcel of what goes by "Radical Reference" these days. I, personally, have an archive of "'zines" that's essentially an alternate encyclopedia for the world that exists outside of the radar of unwritten laws of most purveyors of 'knowledge'.

I'm not talking "People Magazine" or "Road & Track" or whatever - I'm taking about the type of publications that end up as primary source material for historians down the road: VAGUE, SMILE, FILE, DDC#040.002, Egozine, Experimental Musical Instruments, VILE, Doc(k)s, Cinematograph, lightworks, Semiotext(e), Re/Search, Rampike, etc, etc - all publications that are leaders in their fields & not LCD trash that's advertising-revenue-driven.

Many of these are more lovingly produced than even something as great as an Abrams art book & certainly more of the moment politically than the products of most New York publishers - &, as such, important. Whether or not its appropriate to GoodReads' purpose to have these I can't say. I certainly love GoodReads as it is, but, for me, including the above wd make it even better!

message 11: by Massimiliano (last edited Jan 28, 2008 02:17PM) (new)

Massimiliano Mauriello | 1 comments Very interesting the idea about adding magazines. I was thinking to it in these days....

Of course this is a site devoted to books !

I'm wondering what could be the point of view by Otis Chandler on this issue.

But I think some good magazine could be rated; how to track articles; wich topics ? (only literature related or others...) all and others interesting questions that arises from this interesting suggestion !.....

message 12: by Angel (new)

Angel (mnemosyne) | 48 comments Speaking of things that don't really fall under the category of "good reads," I found this on a totally unrelated search (I was looking up one of the Newbery Medal books to update its info):

Magazines you could argue, but a calendar? Unfortunately, I guess it can't be deleted because it was added by Amazon, and it'll just get added again if it's deleted. Apparently calendars have ISBNs. Who knew?

Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan (lisavegan) | 2409 comments Angel,

It helps the site when, for these non-book items, Goodreads librarians type in NOT A BOOK.

I did that for this item in front of the title and in the book description field.

If you see non-books listed again, and you most likely will, as a Goodreads librarian, you can also edit the item to indicate it isn't a book.

This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments I agree in general, but this is actually a bit more complicated in practice. For example, what about audio books? They are not "read" but are clearly a form of a book and GoodReads rules for librarians even explicitly discusses them with respect to combining editions.

But where does one draw the line? If audio is ok, what about video? Are movie editions of books acceptable?

For magazines, at least, one can go by the fact that magazines do not generally have ISBN's but instead of ISSN's. If GoodReads should choose to add that as a recognizable field, then magazines would clearly become valid...until then, it seems to me that they should be left out.

message 15: by Anne (new)

Anne Sanow | 4 comments I'm definitely in favor of having the ability to add publications such as literary journals, as these are the places where much good and innovative writing appears. Readers who like short stories, nonfiction essays, and poetry would be well served by their inclusion.

I do also see the point of some controls here, however--e.g., who determines whether it's fine to add an issue of The Believer or The Kenyon Review to point out some particular pieces they liked, vs., say, an issue of People (where, um, I suppose there must be something edifying to someone)?

Here's a suggestion: allow inclusion of any publication that appears in bound print form (i.e., hardback or paperback), that also has an ISBN or ISSN, and that is obtainable by other readers. This would exclude things like audio editions and films, as well as anything web-only or self-published. I don't mean to suggest that those categories have no value, but perhaps it's a place to begin.

Finally, I'd just like to add that this seems like a lovely "problem" to have--it means that the Goodreads site is a growing success, and we can certainly find ways to adapt to our good fortune.

message 16: by Otis, Chief Architect (new)

Otis Chandler | 315 comments Mod
We definitely want to keep Goodreads open to any uses that people may have for it. However for now the site is designed for books, and until we change things to specifically design for journals, magazines, etc, I'd prefer to keep them out of the catalogue.

Definitely a good problem to have though :)

message 17: by Melody (new)

Melody (runningtune) | 13258 comments So what should be done to magazines that have been added? Should we delete them (if they were added by members) or just leave them be?

like this one

message 18: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41062 comments Mod
I'm in favor of leaving that one be. (Single item, not one for each edition, and it has a cover and description.)

message 19: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Theaker (rolnikov) | 12 comments Pretty much the entire run of single issues of the current Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic seems to be on Goodreads now, with each issue getting hundreds of ratings from people. (Search for Buffy Season to find them.)

I do agree, for what it's worth, that graphic novels and trade paperbacks (i.e. books) should be on Goodreads but not single issues of comics.

message 20: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (ashleym) | 147 comments I think single issue editions are just as valid as the multiple-issue books. Really, there's nothing different about the content. The multiple-issue books are bound more professionally, but beyond that there's really no difference. The library I work at (and I would guess many many others as well) carries a decent number of single issue comics in addition to the bound multiple-issue - I'm not saying this should be the deciding factor, but I think it gives them some validation as "books."

message 21: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 41062 comments Mod
There may be nothing different about the content, but there are differences in whether they are an entire "book" alone or not. Are we going to start putting in each chapter of Dickens' books separately, as they were serialized originally?

message 22: by Kristen (new)

Kristen Northrup (kristenn) | 25 comments But when we do carry single issue comics (I'm a cataloger at a library), each issue is not cataloged separately. They are put under a single serial record, just like a magazine.

I'm a huge comics fan, but single issues are not books. If someone is coming to the site to find something to curl up with, a 22-page 10-minute item is not going to help them. Advocating a series is still feasible via the trade format.

message 23: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (ashleym) | 147 comments Ah, good point Rivka. And Kristen, I hadn't thought of the cataloging issue, I believe we do the same with our records, that's a good point as well.

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