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What's in the Library: Periodicals: Getting Started

Find out more about our collections of THE best print publications that will help you get creative; and you won't find them anywhere else!

What is a Periodical

Although more properly termed as "Serials" (i.e. publications that are released in a predictable series), the term "Periodicals" is more widely recognizable. This latter term designates items that are published periodically (thus, sometimes referring only to magazines, journals or annuals).

The major types of serial publications include:

  Journals Magazines Annuals Newspapers
Authors

scholars, academics, researchers, professional practitioners;

peer-reviewed journals use advisory boards of scholars to vet articles, so contribute to the authorial voice

special interest groups  and practitioners of or experts on these fields such as artists, designers, interior designers, architects, etc.

 

professional practitioners in special interest groups such as artists, designers, interior designers, architects, etc. journalists, internal editorial staff, freelance writers, or large international news-wire agencies
  
Publishers university presses, professional organizations private commercial companies or non-profit organizations professional associations or non-profit organizations usually in various fields of design private commercial companies, or non-profit organizations; newspapers usually employ fact-checking editorial staff; some national news sources (for ex. the CBC) are funded by  governments.
Audience scholars, academics, researchers, professional practitioners special interest groups (such as artists, designers, interior designers, architects, etc.) or the general public professional practitioners in special interest groups (such as artists, designers, interior designers, architects, etc.) the general public
Sources Used peer-reviewed research, scholarly publications, technical guidelines, governmental documents. secondary or primary sources may be used, especially for more critically recognized publications; however, sources and authors are generally only mentioned in the body of the article's text.  secondary sources are not used, unless in referencing biographical information for designers; all content is based on award-winning creative work by designers. secondary sources may be used, although will not be cited; all articles should be "fact-checked" by editorial staff
Are Citations Used? YES: materials are cited using scholarly standards such as MLA, APA, or Chicago Style. NO: secondary or primary sources may be referenced, although are generally not be cited NO: occasionally works published by award-winning designers may be listed in biographical entries or profession CVs. NO
Frequency of Publication quarterly or bi-annually monthly or occasionally weekly annually daily
Are there Advertisements? NO: generally none are included; journals are financed by universities or professional organizations YES: advertisements are a key source of revenue for magazine publishers NO: funding is provided by professional organizations; of course, some annuals include examples of advertisements, but these are shown as professional juried selections of award-winning designs YES: advertisements are a key source of revenue for newspaper publishers
Why are they Published?
  • to use scientific methodologies to understand social, cultural, and scientific knowledge
  • for academics and professionals to communication, discuss, and debate knowledge in their fields
  • to provide scientifically research facts that have been "peer-reviewed" a board of advisors
  • to publish writings by individual researchers, but with the "value-added" benefit of incorporating a wider knowledge base contributed by the peer-reviewers
  • to provide retrospective interpretation of culture or current events, thus magazines are often published monthly
  • to inform or entertain wider, public audiences
  • to provide contemporary, cutting-edge developments in society, culture, or communities
  • to access information that is the particular viewpoint or opinions of individual authors
  • to access information that offers a particular cultural viewpoint based on the mandate of the editorial board
  • to profile and celebrate visionary designs and designers within specific design media such as graphic design, illustration, industrial design, typography
  • to offer context to specific geographic or national design traditions
  • to provide examples of innovative design to inspire excellence in various fields of design
  • to view images of award-winning design that may not necessarily be available on the open internet due to proprietary concerns
  • to provide current events in a timely manner; so newspapers are often published daily
  • to inform or educate general public
  • to provide a rigorously vetted fact-checking ot avoid propagation of false information or facts
  • to read editorial commentary form seasoned journalists to interpret currents events
  • to become familiar with political and social developments in a community environment; oftentimes newspapers are targeted to a local or geographically specific readership

Finding Print Periodicals at OCAD U

There are two options for finding out what periodicals are in the library's print collection:

  1. Use the "Journals A - Z" tab on the Library Homepage
    • type the periodical TITLE (for ex. "Communication Arts")
    • if "OCAD U Print Journals" appears with a date range shown for holdings, the library should have copies (for ex. "Communication Arts" is available from 1961 to Present)
    • click the link to access the catalogue record for the periodical; scroll down to the bottom of the record to view individual volume and issue holdings
      • NOTE: discontinued periodical titles that are "not currently received" are oftentimes placed in storage to make room for newer periodicals. Back issues can be easily requested by contacting Serials Technician Wiefang Huang
  2. Select the Browse link in the Library Catalogue; use the dropdown list to search by "Journal/Magazine Titles (A - Z)"
    • type the periodical TITLE (for ex. "Communication Arts"); as this is an A - Z you need to use the exact title
    • if the title shows up in the resulting list, click the name to access the catalogue record for the periodical; scroll down to the bottom of the record to view individual volume and issue holdings
      • NOTE: discontinued periodical titles that are "not currently received" are oftentimes placed in storage to make room for newer periodicals. Back issues can be easily requested by contacting Serials Technician Wiefang Huang

Information Literacy

Like all information, you do want to ask questions about what you are reading:

  • WHAT sources are used to write articles for periodicals?
    • HOW do the different sources used affect the articles published?
  • WHAT advertisements are included in the periodical?
    • HOW do advertisements potentially affect the editorial policy or the articles published?
  • WHO are the authors?
    • HOW do their academic or professional affiliations potentially affect the articles written?
  • WHO publishes the periodical?
    • HOW does the funding sources of the publishers (universities, non-governmental organizations, for-profit companies, advertisment revenues) potentially affect the articles written?
  • WHO is the intended audience?
    • HOW does the viewpoints of a given audience (academic, professional, special interest groups, the general public) affect what a publisher can or cannot publish?
  • WHY are these different types of periodicals published?
    • HOW do the intentions of authors, publishers, even the audience reading periodicals define the periodical's medium and message?

OCAD U Library Periodicals: A selection of titles

File Magazine (Rare Peridocial Collection)

Communication Arts Magazine

Journal of Artists Books (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

L'Illustration, Journal Universel (Magazine / Rare Periodical)

Publication Design Annual

Bomb Magazine

Azure Magazine