For an overview of reviewing source pages, see Source Page Review Guide. See also Source Page Review by Subject: Periodical article for additional discussion of distinguishing between the *Subject* periodical article and the Source *Type* Periodical.
Source Type: Periodicals
Level of Complexity = Medium
The Source Page Name for Periodical Sources
The first item to be addressed for most sources that are periodicals is to reformat the page name to conform to the "Title (Publisher)" format preferred for periodicals. This sometimes raises issues regarding disambiguation or duplication. For example, an extraordinary number of periodicals are called "Newsletter" - obviously adding the publishers name is crucial to disambiguation in a search for this title. In other cases, the periodical's title already contains the name of the publisher, such as "Maine Historical Society Quarterly."
Resolving the dilemmas caused by lack of creativity in the titles of periodicals hasn't been broadly discussed by the wiki, but I've used the following approaches:
See also: Source:New England Connexion (Goshen, New York), where publisher is the same as the title of the periodical.
Choosing a Subject for Periodical Sources
I find that most periodicals have the Subject "Periodical (article)" by default. However, subjects generally describe content, not the structure of a source, so this subject has become a bit of a odd duck. And, on the face of it, the subject "Periodical (article)" would seem to be reserved for items of the Type "Article," yet this is not the apparent general practice.
Since WeRelate has the Type field "Periodical" to describe the nature of the source, when possible I select a Subject that reflects the content of the periodical. Thus, Source:Newsletter (Mary and John Clearing House) has the subject "Passenger/Immigration records." However, this practice hasn't been widely discussed by the wiki, so it is possible that the consensus will be that a different approach is preferable.
There are some periodicals - particularly ones with a wide range of historical, family history, and vital records content - where it is difficult to choose a subject that is appropriate for the publication as a whole. In these case, I've sometimes chosen Subject "Periodical (article)" as a stand-in to reflect that this is a periodical with a wide subject matter. I'd note, tho, that Source:New England Historical and Genealogical Register (probably the most widely known genealogical journal with a wide range of subject matter) has a subject of "History," and there's a good case to make that "History" or "Family History" are the most all-encompassing Subjects and thus the best choice for this type of wide-ranging periodical.
Cross-referencing and merging Periodicals with title changes
Publications often change their names, their publishing schedules, and other details. However, the advent of a new title does not always mean that a new set of volume numbers will be created; instead, the publication will continue the numbering of the earlier version. A decision may need to be made on whether or not multiple titles should be combined into one WeRelate source or should be maintained as separate (and cross-referenced) periodical sources.
I've found that libraries seem to handle this dilemma in both ways. And, guidance I've gotten from the WeRelate community has also advised both approaches. My approach has been to determine the best answer on a case by case basis. These are some of the questions I ask to determine the best solution:
Cross-referencing Periodical Sources
I often choose to keep multiple titles and multiple source pages when:
I create a section in the text area that lists the variations on the periodical's name with links to their individual source pages. The titles are listed in chronological order and note which title continues another title, or is continued by another title. If the names used for the publication in various years are not very different, you might also add the years published in parentheses after the Source Page name [format would become "Title (Publisher) (Yr-Yr)"], just as we do with different editions of book titles in order to disambiguate. This rarely is an issue with periodicals, however, because there don't tend to be that many alternate names.
Merging Periodical Sources
I tend to merge earlier and later versions of a periodical when:
Provide the full publication history and alternate names in the text area. I've noticed some people have added "Formerly known as XXXX" to the title field, which would help a future WeRelate user find this source if they were searching for the earlier name of the periodical. Using the "#redirect[[Source:Source Name Here]]" helps to ensure the earlier names will still lead to the correct source page.
Periodical Source Examples