Magazine Typology

Using Operational Classification Theory

Authored by: Marcia R. Prior-Miller

The Routledge Handbook of Magazine Research

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138854161
eBook ISBN: 9781315722283
Adobe ISBN: 9781317524533

10.4324/9781315722283.ch2

 

Abstract

The magazine and journal periodical is a form of mediated communication that serves a wide variety of functions in society. It contributes to dialogue and debate on critical social and political issues, increases public knowledge that allows for participation in civic and community activities, disseminates and helps define shifts in lifestyles and preferences and offers opportunities for recreation and leisure. 1 With the advent of the twenty-first century, communication media in all their forms are undergoing major changes. Many result from the adoption of digital age technologies, such as the Internet, tablets and proliferating social media, among others. 2 These changes alone may prove to be as revolutionary as the printing press and movable type, invented first in China almost a thousand years ago, followed by Germany’s Gutenberg press in the mid-1400s. 3

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Magazine Typology

The magazine and journal periodical is a form of mediated communication that serves a wide variety of functions in society. It contributes to dialogue and debate on critical social and political issues, increases public knowledge that allows for participation in civic and community activities, disseminates and helps define shifts in lifestyles and preferences and offers opportunities for recreation and leisure. 1 With the advent of the twenty-first century, communication media in all their forms are undergoing major changes. Many result from the adoption of digital age technologies, such as the Internet, tablets and proliferating social media, among others. 2 These changes alone may prove to be as revolutionary as the printing press and movable type, invented first in China almost a thousand years ago, followed by Germany’s Gutenberg press in the mid-1400s. 3

Moreover, trends in both print and electronic news and information delivery have shifted, becoming less verbal, more visual and entertainment-driven. 4 Post-2000 research suggests U.S. residents read less, watch and listen more than they did a generation ago. There is reason to believe the trend is global. 5 In the more than five decades since Jürgen Habermas ascribed to mass media the loss of a public sphere open to everyone, 6 the media and their influence have become so pervasive that sociologists, cultural and media scholars increasingly describe contemporary society as a media culture. In Nick Stevenson’s words, “The emergence of global forms of mass communication … has reworked the experiential content of everyday life.” 7

In this mediated environment, the non-newspaper periodicals commonly known as magazines and journals remain a major social force that affects far more than the general public. The medium is diverse, providing a means of communicating critical information in the workplace, within and across the boundaries of informal and formal communities and organizations of interest, including scientific and scholarly. While some predict new communication technologies foreshadow the demise of the magazine form, others argue the medium will simply adopt and adapt as it has in the past. 8

In the face of these changes, there is increasing interest in better understanding the sociocultural and organizational factors that influence and shape the medium, its content, effects and role in society. Scholarly inquiry has only begun to examine the multiple facets of the magazine, even as growing evidence suggests systematic research on and related to the medium has begun to achieve critical mass on multiple dimensions and find its place in the larger academic enterprise. 9 New research increasingly draws on prior studies. As scholars around the world engage with the periodical and all media forms from increasingly diverse critical cultural, interpretive and social scientific perspectives, inquiry is being enriched by careful articulation of theoretical and empirical questions, as well as advances in methodological approaches. 10 The parallel infusion of multiple intellectual streams of thought gives increasing evidence of maturation in the scholarly work on the medium, from studies of its history and ongoing social system within the field to questions related to communication problems and structure as they occur in the medium and the institutions that produce its content. 11

Yet barriers to formal inquiry on the magazine form remain. Some have deep roots in a scholarly community that traditionally defined journalism research as excluding magazines. 12 In the roughly two decades surrounding the turn of the twentieth-first century, scholars repeatedly noted weaknesses in the literature that was both widely dispersed 13 and too limited in quantity to provide a foundation on which to build new studies. 14 As recently as 2010, British sociologist and mass communication theorist Denis McQuail compared a continuing lag in research on magazines with formal inquiry on communication as it occurs through other media forms. 15 The “diffuseness and uncertain impact” of the periodical magazine, he wrote, “have led to a general neglect by communication research,” even though the medium is “the single most significant … [of the] forms of publication” that followed the development of the printing press, other than books and newspapers. 16

In attributing the neglect of communication research on magazines in part to their diffuseness, McQuail points to a core, defining characteristic of the medium: its diversity. This in turn begs an answer to the ongoing question of definition and kinds. This chapter reviews the literature on classifying magazine and journal periodicals and points to new theorizing on the question, research needs and opportunities.

The approach of this study is to examine three broad bodies of literature that bear on questions of classifying magazine and journal periodicals. The first is the specific literature related to defining and categorizing the broad range of serials that are non-newspaper periodicals, more commonly referred to as magazines and journals. 17 The second is the taxonomic literature—that is, the literature that focuses on systematic classification for identifying and developing taxonomies, typologies and, from the humanities, genres. And third is the social communication and interdisciplinary literature that includes scholarly inquiry related to categorizing all forms of magazine and journal periodicals. The search for the literature was strategic to answering the questions posed in the sections that follow, not a census or systematic sample of the literature in each areas’ literature.

Defining Magazine and Journal Periodicals

The universe of non-newspaper periodicals is large. Conservative contemporary counts suggest anywhere from 9,000 to between 250,000 and 300,000 worldwide; the total may be higher. 18 The wide variance in these numbers results in part from there being no source capable of providing a comprehensive count of the total population of periodicals. That lack in turn is partially a function of how the extant directories, listings and databases define the medium for inclusion or exclusion. 19 Thus the question of how to define the scope of the medium and what is or is not a magazine or other non-newspaper periodical is core to studying the magazine, as attested by multiple scholars over time. 20

Of the multiple factors that contribute to the difficulty of defining the magazine, the most pressing are issues related to the fact that defining the magazine periodical in the context of scholarly discussion requires using everyday language. “Clarifying ideas in the humanities and social sciences is an especially difficult undertaking,” Patrick Dunleavy wrote, because “unlike the physical sciences … [these fields] do not have a separate sphere of ‘scientific’ discourse in which meanings are single-valued and unambiguous.” 21 Dunleavy’s further account of the resulting challenges to the humanities and social sciences 22 captures several aspects of the problem as it relates to systematic scholarly study of the magazine form. In addition to its multiple contemporary denotations by use and strict definition, the word magazine carries additional connotations that arise from its etymological French (magasin), Arabic (makha¯zin) and Old Occitan origins. 23 From these, the original meaning of a storehouse or warehouse is frequently conferred on the contemporary reading material—that is, a mediated form of communication serving a conceptual storehouse of diverse ideas, information and means of presentation, both verbal and visual.

The word magazine also carries an additional range of meanings specific to users’ personal, educational and professional experiences and backgrounds, as well as norms that differ within and across both academic and industry sectors. The body of professional and scholarly literature gives substantial evidence of the variances in the common-sense definitions 24 magazine professionals and scholars bring to the study of the medium. Even the most carefully articulated definitions differ, sometimes contradicting each other, particularly when used in contexts designed to describe and categorize the medium’s various forms.

Form and Content Considerations

A second challenge to studying magazines is the form. No systematic studies appear to have been done of definitions over time, but source definitions reviewed for this study demonstrate the difficulty of framing a succinct, unique and ahistorical description of its essence. Defining the magazine periodical also poses challenges unique to time, culture and technology. As the population of magazines has grown ever larger, so too has its diversity increased, constantly changing and evolving. A wide variety of periodicity, material and content characteristics have been associated as definitive of the medium. Lyon N. Richardson, for example, found it necessary to specify that his history of the first nearly five decades of American magazine publishing (1741 through 1789) would not include books, a publication that at the time was sometimes designated a magazine.

In general, the term magazine, as its name implies, was used to designate a general miscellany or repository of instruction and amusement. It was also used commonly in the eighteenth century as a title for books which were collections of information on various subjects, such as The Young Man’s Magazine: Containing the Substance of Moral Philosophy and Divinity, Selected from the Works of the Most Eminent for Wisdom, Learning, and Virtue, among the Ancients and Moderns (Philadelphia, 1786) and The Young Misses Magazine, Containing Dialogues between a Governess and Several Young Ladies her Scholars (Philadelphia, 1787). 25

Frank Luther Mott’s working definition of magazine, “ … a bound pamphlet issued more or less regularly and containing a variety of reading matter,” 26 similarly reflects the historical context his first volume encompasses.

Other scholars have identified content, rather than any specific format or other physical or material dimensions, as the essence of the medium. Indeed, in spite of the fact that Mott’s operational definition pointed to the bound pamphlet form of early periodicals, he identified content as critical when he wrote, “Originally the term referred to contents only and had no connotation of form.” 27 J. William Click and Russell N. Baird similarly differentiated between content and form when in 1994 they noted that to the then-common television magazines were being added more magazines retrieved through computer systems. They wrote, “Today, magazine refers more to an approach or a process rather than to a format (bound periodical).” 28 More than a decade later, Tim Holmes wrote, “If ‘magazine’ signifies no uniform reality … to demand homogeneity would be … to deny the very nature of the subject matter.” 29

Working Definitions

A starting point for an operational definition of magazine for the purposes of this chapter is the lay, dictionary definition, “a periodical containing miscellaneous pieces (as articles, stories, poems) and often illustrated; also: such a periodical published on-line.” 30 To build on this base, two additional definitional needs exist. The first is to expand the working definition to include more than the periodicals published for members of the general public—that is, in advertising terms, consumers. Commonly and globally referred to as consumer magazines, 31 at one end of the continuum is a tendency to use the term magazine in ways that restrict its meaning to include only these periodicals. When that is true, the term still carries, almost 100 years later, what Mott recognized as “a strong connotation of entertainment,” 32 translating in contemporary society to products to be purchased, enjoyed and cast aside when the next issue appears. 33 Marketed to the general populace, this form of the medium is suggested in the description McQuail gave when he pointed to the lack of communication research on magazines: “The periodical magazine still belongs largely to the domestic and personal sphere and supports a wide range of interests, activities, and markets.” 34

Magazine scholars have long defined the medium more broadly, observing that of the thousands of non-newspaper periodicals published in every country around the world, more are designed in both content and purpose to meet critical information needs than to entertain. “Magazines disseminate more specialized information and commentary on a regular basis to diverse audiences,” wrote Click and Baird, “than any other medium of mass communication.” 35 Mott, too, differentiated between the entertainment connotation and the “professional and technical periodical for psychiatrists [that] would call itself” a journal or review. 36 He included both in the scope of his definition of magazine.

At the other extreme is the question of which of the broad range of publications defined as serials are to be included in the definition of periodicals, of which magazines are one form. 37 Again, the literature differs, even contradicts. Contemporary lay and scholarly definitions of the terms periodical and magazine variously exclude and include newspapers and scholarly journals. Margaret Beetham, in her exploration of periodicals as a publishing genre, includes newspapers, 38 as did the founders of the interdisciplinary, American Studies journal American Periodicals in defining its scope. 39 Mott excluded newspapers, because they were “not usually called periodicals,” but acknowledged his doing so had “never been universally accepted, perhaps because it [was] not indicated by the etymology.” 40 He included scholarly journals as “a more serious or technical publication; [that is] one speaks of the learned and professional ‘journals.’ ” 41 Contemporary ambivalence about where scholarly journals fit is illustrated in the present volume, which does not include a chapter on scholarly journals in any of its humanities or sciences disciplinary forms. However, its importance and role is evidenced in every chapter.

Mott’s strategies were echoed almost a half century later in Fritz Machlup, Kenneth Leeson and their associates’ 1970s definitional research at New York University. 42 They identified nine “serials” categories, of which “Newspapers, daily weekly or biweekly” and “Periodicals (magazines and journals, published more than once per year)” are two separate classes, by definition. The periodicals category is further subdivided into two subclasses, magazines and journals. 43 Current international Anglo American Cataloging Rules, including revisions to account for digital media and databases, are used on at least five continents and echo Machlup, Leeson and Associates’ definitions. 44

Mott may have played a major role in the label magazine replacing the more inclusive term periodical early on, particularly in scholarly work on the magazine form. Of historical note is his self-described choice not to use periodical in naming his histories, even though he acknowledged the word “would perhaps be the most concise word to use in the title of” his work. Instead, he chose magazine “as the more popular and meaningful term.” 45

Magazine as Non-Newspaper Periodical

As used in this chapter, the terms magazines, journals and periodicals will draw on the medium’s etymological roots, historical and contemporary constructions, as well as international serials cataloging guidelines, to position magazines and journals as subclasses of related periodicals, defined to exclude newspapers. Magazine and journal periodicals are further defined within the broad scope of formal, structured social behavior—a medium of communication that includes traditional formats, such as hard-copy paper, and digital forms distributed in the twenty-first century on the Internet and electronic devices. The terms magazine and journal are used interchangeably in noun and adjectival forms with the term periodical. Other terms commonly found in research, academic and professional literature will also be used for maximum clarity as to the scope of the medium. These include non-newspaper periodicals, business magazines and business publications, organization and trade publications, monthlies, quarterlies and reviews, among others. 46 Because magazines and journal periodicals come in a wide variety of formats, any one of which may carry the connotation of being a magazine, the contemporary term magazine form, which is less burdened by a history of common-sense and industry definitions and connotations, will also be used to refer to the medium. 47

Taxonomy, Typology and Genre Literatures

The body of literature on developing taxonomies and typologies is extensive, spanning the centuries and centering in the fields of the physical, biological, behavioral and social sciences. 48 It can also be found in sectors of the humanities, where it takes two forms: the development of typologies 49 and, from critical theory and genre studies, genres. 50 Defined in general as an overarching inquiry, that is, the “theoretical study of classification, including its bases, principles, procedures, and rules,” 51 the term taxonomy also refers to taxonomic research as practiced primarily in the physical and biological, or life, sciences. There, research draws on classification philosophies and methods that result in taxonomies.

Pertinent to study of the magazine and journal periodical are two diverse streams of classificatory work: taxonomic work that produces typologies, or theoretically based systems used primarily in the social and behavioral sciences, 52 and genre studies, as widely used in multiple disciplines of the humanities—particularly for identifying and naming styles and forms, especially of content, that is, literary, artistic, musical and linguistic materials. 53 Not typically found in the traditional typological and taxonomic literature of the social sciences, the term genre shares with typological work the common goals of organizing and categorizing. However, with overlapping definitions, social and cultural meanings and applications, the processes of identifying, conceptualizing and naming genres and typologies also differ in a number of ways. Genre categories often either overlap or are embedded within each other with impunity. Typologies, by contrast, identify and cluster phenomena with shared characteristics and dimensions within groups, so as to clearly differentiate between groups, based on carefully articulated theoretical foundations.

It can be argued that the complementarity of the two strategies lies in different dimensions of the magazine form. Social scientific typological inquiry and development appropriately focus on identifying patterns, characteristics and dimensions of social communication behavior as it shapes and occurs through and in relation to various media forms, structures, verbal and visual content. Genre development focuses primarily on treatment: identifying and analyzing the literary, artistic, musical and linguistic styles and forms, particularly of media content, including, but not limited to, verbal and visual; the list is long. 54 Thus, as with differences and similarities between taxonomic and typological work, the classificatory processes of typology and genre development draw on principles that are simultaneously different and similar, discipline-specific and common to the broad spectrum of classification inquiry.

A critical starting point for developing the social scientific typology is the first assumption of science: that the world is ordered and patterned. 55 Paul Davidson Reynolds posits that the several tasks of building a body of scholarly and scientific knowledge involve describing the objects of study and, following closely as the first order of business, classification—that is, providing “a method of organizing and categorizing ‘things, a typology.’ ” 56 On these definitional foundations, he says, science can move on to predicting future events, explaining past events and providing a “sense of understanding about what causes events.” 57 Sociologist Kenneth D. Bailey expands on these concepts when he writes, “Classification … is the foundation not only for conceptualization, language, and speech, but also for mathematics, statistics, and data analysis in general.” 58

Yet developing a theoretically grounded typology useful for systematic inquiry into the wide range of unanswered questions about communication as it occurs through the periodical medium is largely virgin territory. This is true even though published scholarly research on the magazine form dates to the first three decades of the twentieth century and includes specific references to different kinds of magazine and journal periodicals. 59

Importance of Typologies and Genres

Among the reasons for the failure to develop a systematic typology of the universe of periodicals may be that, although providing and clarifying definitions are processes almost as old as the scientific enterprise, 60 views on the role and importance of taxonomic work have changed over time. So great is the change that in 2011, Chunglin Kwa of the University of Amsterdam’s Department of Political Science and Sociology observed that “of all the styles of science, the taxonomic is the least respected.” 61 Yet Kwa argues that it is “shortsighted” to view the taxonomic style as “somehow inferior to other scientific styles.” 62 Starting with the periodic table’s ordering of chemical elements long before its core theoretical base was discerned, he identified the work of scientists whose taxonomic work in the physical, biological and social sciences advanced their respective fields, laying foundations for contemporary research. In each case, Kwa pointed to the classification work that did “what all taxonomies do—namely, bring order to a chaos of facts.” 63 Daniel Chandler similarly points to genre studies as bringing order to large quantities of diverse texts in the world of literature. 64

Scholars’ disagreement on the value and role of classification in social inquiry 65 coincides roughly with the last quarter of the twentieth century’s debate over whether the study of human social behavior is a science or a humanity. If a humanity, the argument is that social behaviors, including human communication, are best analyzed from qualitative, critical and interpretive perspectives, rather than social scientific, which historically drew heavily on quantitative measures of theory. 66 In the first decades of the twenty-first century, an increasing number of social communication scholars have begun to see the perspectives as complementary, not in opposition to each other. 67 The body of published inquiry on magazine and journal periodicals reflects this shift, as does the broader literature of mediated communication, with both theory and research, qualitative and quantitative methods enriching and expanding the extent to which old and new perspectives intersect to inform study in this sector of the field. 68

Social scientists and some other scholars consider the taxonomic work of building typologies a foundational, definitional task. 69 Clear definitions are, in turn, essential for every aspect of scholarly inquiry, whether identifying a problem and choosing a research topic, developing or testing theory, designing data collection or discussing results and suggesting new directions for future research. 70 By extension, clarifying definitions and bringing order to the chaos surrounding magazine and journal periodical classification are important to inquiry on the medium. Scholars build on these core definitions whether the medium is their primary focus or part of broader multimedia or interdisciplinary research.

Typology and Genre as Medium Theory

The development of a theoretically based typology of the non-newspaper periodical can be argued as contributing to the theory of the medium, which, by extension, is part of the larger body of medium theory in the study of mediated communication. 71 McQuail describes medium theory as having shed the strong technological determinism attached to work that originally grew out of the Toronto School. In its more mature forms, the theory focuses on identifying the range of medium biases, 72 explorations that McQuail positions within the “media-materialist” quadrant of mediated social communication theory and research. 73 The biases that uniquely define each media form are what McQuail defines as “distinctive characteristics, in respect of technology, form, manner of use, means of encoding or social definition.” 74 Scholarly work designed to define and classify the biases of the periodical form is limited, but has been given new impetus in the past two decades through the work of critical and social scientific scholarship. 75 To this end, identifying a theoretically based typology of the magazine form lends to laying a foundation upon which can be built the broadest range of media-centric, sociocultural, humanities and social scientific approaches to inquiry on the medium. These in turn will lead to greater understanding of the multiple facets of the magazine form.

Scholars agree that taxonomic work is not easy, but point to a paradox: Organizing and categorizing the objects of study is, Reynolds wrote, “the easiest [of the purposes of science] to achieve, because any set of concepts can be used to organize and classify.” The problem is that not all ways of identifying and classifying are “useful.” 76 Explanation and prediction cannot occur when no agreement can be reached on naming and categorizing. The answer to the question of what is useful takes different forms, with insights coming from the differing paradigms of critical scholars and social scientists.

Operational Theories of Classification

That there exists no overarching, theoretically grounded typology of magazine and journal periodicals is obscured by the fact that media industry professionals and scholars alike regularly break the universe of non-newspaper periodicals into multiple categories, referring to the resulting clusters of titles as “types” of magazines. 77 A few scholars use the terms type and types, but acknowledge the frameworks they describe do not meet one or more typological criteria. 78 Some differentiate among categories without calling them types, 79 but more common is using the terms type and types as synonyms for kind, kinds, sort and sorts without qualification. 80

The current practices are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they signal agreement that there are, among the thousands of periodicals published worldwide, sufficient differences to prevent their all fitting into a single, homogeneous group. On the other hand, referring to a named title or clusters of titles as a type or types implies the existence of a systematic, theory-driven base for categorizing the universe of non-newspaper periodicals that is both generally accepted and meets accepted standards for scientifically based classification, when analyses of the current strategies do not support that assumption. 81 An alternative is working within the genre framework, with its less rigorous requirements for clarity between groups. However, doing so might only further complicate the existing mix of terminology. For the social scientist, the rigor of the typological framework would allow for pulling cross-sectional samples, useful for the building and testing of theory that explains and predicts communication behavior as it occurs through the medium.

Searching for Theory

The literature on defining and building theory—like that of taxonomy, typology and genre development—is broad and grounded in almost every academic discipline. Discussions and definitions of what constitutes theory are similarly broad-ranging, from higher level conceptual questions of ontology and epistemology 82 to practical, sometimes strongly normative, guidelines. Out of this somewhat complex, even confusing literature, Denis McQuail has provided a summary definition for emergent mass communication scholarship.

There are different kinds of theory, … but most basically a theory is a general proposition, itself based on observation and logical argument, that states the relationship between observed phenomena and seeks either to explain or to predict the relations, in so far as this is possible. The main purpose of theory is to make sense of an observed reality and guide the collection and evaluation of evidence. 83

From this foundational definition McQuail identifies five kinds of mass communication theory, 84 of which one is operational theory. Named working theory in his first editions, 85 operational theory is, by McQuail’s definition,

the kind of knowledge about the media [that] refers to the practical ideas assembled and applied by media practitioners in the conduct of their own media work. Similar bodies of accumulated practical wisdom are to be found in most organizational and professional settings. In the case of the media, operational theory serves to guide solutions to fundamental tasks, including how to select news, please audiences, design effective advertising, keep within the limits of what society permits, and relate effectively to sources and society. At some points it may overlap with normative theory… . 86

To McQuail’s description of practical knowledge can be added the several widely used and accepted approaches to categorizing periodicals that magazine publishers, editors, writers and advertisers use to find solutions they need to complete the fundamental tasks of producing issue after issue of titles in the diverse sectors of the industry. Almost a half century ago Benjamin M. Compaine argued that resolving problems in defining the different kinds of magazines “is of more than academic curiosity.” 87 He named multiple, specific tasks for which knowing and identifying classes of periodicals can be critical.

[M]any advertisers could be served by understanding how different types of publications are more or less indigenous to their products… . Second, editors must know what should be the orientation of their copy… . Third, consumers want to know what to expect from a magazine, more these days than ever as rising subscription rates force the reader to more carefully weigh his media choices. Fourth, the publishing logistics of magazines vary by type. 88

There remain, however, unanswered questions about the strategies as they have been and can be used to meet scholars’ needs.

McQuail’s summary definitions of theory for mass communication scholarship and operational theory provide critical links for moving through the quagmire that marks the current state of magazine classification. Outlining and linking the current strategies, their roots, core characteristics and relationships to the broad body of literature is a critical first step in articulating the traditional approaches as operational theories of periodical classification, useful to magazine mediated communication theory and research with applications for practice.

Three Operational Theories

A number of commonly used, basic strategies for categorizing magazine and journal periodicals have been identified and described. Based on an analysis of researchers’ direct and implied definitions of “magazine type” in 223 studies published over the 14 years from 1977 through 1991, the approaches have been labeled the (1) general-specialized dichotomy, (2) editorial interest area approach, 89 (3) information function approach, and the (4) multiple characteristics approach. 90 Further review of the larger body of scholarly and industry literature gives evidence that the first three of the four are commonly used, first-level categorization strategies in industry practice. Moreover, the multiple characteristics approach is shown to be extensions of each of the first three, not a separate approach. Stated differently, the first three approaches to classifying periodicals—the general-specialized dichotomy, the editorial interest area approach and the information function approach—are described in the larger body of scholarly and professional literature as first-level classification systems that have one or more additional levels, or sub-classes. Thus, each of the three can be identified as a multiple characteristics approach. Moreover, careful examination shows the descriptions of sub-classes to incorporate, in every case, one or more dimensions of the first-level classification strategies, taken to the next sub-level or levels.

The ways these strategies fail to meet typological tests are described in the earlier research. 91 Thus, the goal here is to link the three classification strategies to the larger body of scholarly and professional literature in order to (1) provide brief, summary definitions of the strategies’ characteristics, dimensions and suggested relationships, as well as indicators of sub-class strategies as found in that literature; (2) give summary descriptions of the strategies’ roots in industry, again as reflected in the literature, that provide support for their being defined as operational theories of periodical classification; and (3) provide sources for the strategies of choice, both for further study and grounding in the literature in future research.

General-specialized classification. The simplest strategies for classifying non-newspaper periodicals divide the universe of magazines into two first-level groups, with the most common strategy, as found in the pre-1995 research literature (n = 67; 30.1% of 223 studies), 92 calling one group general magazines; the other, specialized. This dichotomous, general-specialized approach to classifying magazines is also found in the broad range of scholarly and professional literature. There the implied and direct descriptions for the terms focus on magazine content or audience, or both, as was true in the research literature, and uses are consistent with core definitions in everyday language, 93 though definitions are not stated in the literature. Recent scholarship suggests researchers are giving increased attention to describing the basis for designating periodicals as general or specialized, whether based on characteristics of content, audience—or a combination of both. 94 Global industry use of the approach and its variations is also suggested in two recent studies, Kineta Hung H., Flora Fang Gu and David K. Tse’s study of Chinese advertising media-decision making and Anniken Westad’s exploration of the magazine publishing industry, resources and scholarly research in Norway. 95

Although found nowhere stated as such in the literature, it may nonetheless be appropriate to credit Frank Luther Mott with having in his 1930 summary description and definition codified the outlines of the general-specialized framework of everyday industry parlance, before, during and after his time. Mott wrote, “The general magazine’s audience must perforce be a popular one, and … the specialized periodicals[’] … appeal is limited to particular classes …” 96 Embedded in his description is the key to the relationship: the “appeal” of content to readers for whom the magazines are designed, using a meaning consistent with the common definition of appeal, as having “the power of arousing a sympathetic response” or attracting a response from an audience. 97

The roots of the general-specialized terminology appear to go deep into the earliest years of periodical magazine publishing, in both the United States and Europe. Algernon Tassin in 1916 described the nearly 45 magazines that were started in the colonies between 1741 and the end of the eighteenth century, as including some “ … addressed to a more general audience” and others focused on specific subjects. 98 Benjamin Franklin’s 1741 magazine, historically one of the first two magazines published in the British-American colonies, was titled The General Magazine. 99 Richardson described early magazines as having a broad range of content for narrowly defined, small audiences. 100 Dorothy Schmidt described “the idea of such periodicals” as having arisen “almost concurrently in France, England, Germany, and other European countries,” where periodicals had reached similarly small audiences another hundred years earlier: in Germany since 1663 and, in France and Italy, also since the mid-1660s. 101

From historians’ early descriptions of general and specialized magazines that trace to the founding years, through to the turn of the twenty-first century, the dichotomous division of magazines has remained a core framework for describing the medium as divisible into two groups. Definitions of the terms general and specialized have, however, shifted over time. A brief summary of the evolution of the framework shows them to variously, and in different time periods, refer to the population from which audiences were drawn, e.g., members of the general public, as did Tassin; to the geographic location of audiences, as did Theodore Peterson and others in their descriptions of magazines’ ability to reach the increasingly regional and national audiences that spread over a growing nation when local newspapers could not; to size of audience, as in the mass audiences of millions that publishers were targeting when advertisers shifted their moneys to television’s even larger audiences at the mid-twentieth century. As audience sizes increased, use of the terms broadened to include content that was designed to reach as many people as possible. 102 Habermas ascribes to advertising similar changes to the media throughout Europe, 103 and Sigfrid Steinberg argues that major changes in periodical content occurring in Scotland and England precipitated similar changes in U.S. periodicals. 104 These forces combined in the near century between the 1870s and the 1960s to define the editorial content and publishing economics of what came to be known as the general or mass-circulation magazine, also at times called the general consumer magazine. 105

Magazines’ survival of lost advertising to television in the mid-twentieth century resulted from publishers’ refocusing, providing specialized editorial content for carefully defined audiences, whether by subject content interests or audience demography. In the process, the era of specialized magazines came to the fore. The 1960s and 1970s trend to identifying magazines by their more specialized content and specialized audiences was accompanied and followed by changes in publishing’s economic model, with readers picking up a greater proportion of the costs that advertisers had been carrying. 106 Both trends continue unabated to the present, intensifying even as magazines expand print formats to include digital. 107 While some magazine and media industry professionals expect the new wave, digital technologies to trigger the death of the magazine, 108 others anticipate magazines will again survive, with specialization the key to adapting to what David Abrahamson describes as a new century’s technological and social-cultural realities. 109

The literature cited to this point refers to the two broad categories of general and specialized magazines as a first-level classifying strategy. Five sources were identified that expand the two first-level categories into second- and third-level sub-categories, with an apparent goal of describing the real world of magazine publishing. The most recent of the five, Ray Eldon Hiebert and Sheila Jean Gibbons, bring the framework into the twenty-first century, describing a first, general interest category that has no sub-groups. They also call these consumer magazines for general audiences. 110 Their second, special-interest category has two sub-categories, the first of which they call “dominant categories” or “magazines distinguished by content.” They describe six groups “aimed at a fairly broad range of readers, almost broad enough to be considered general interest, but the contents of the magazines themselves are specialized.” 111 The groups are identified by a combination of editorial topics and genre labels. The second group they call “dominant types,” and define those as “magazines distinguished by demographics” of audiences. 112 They again identify six groups, using both labels that are clearly demographic and not. Their descriptions of these clusters include multiple, third-level clusters that they identify by commonly used editorial interest, or subject classifications. Their approach can be read as suggesting general and specialized are subcategories of the consumer magazine category as a whole, without reference to magazines of other kinds.

The remaining four frameworks were published prior to 2000, beginning with Mott’s first volume in 1930 113 ; Roland Wolseley, in 1965; James L.C. Ford, 1969; and a second by Wolseley, in 1977. 114 These sources call the two first-level groups, general and specialized, also occasionally adding consumer as a qualifier to or synonym for the general category. Each source sub-divides and names sub-classes in different ways. Sub-category labels are a mix of terms that include reusing the general and specialized labels, grouping by content—that is, subjects and audience characteristics, or editorial interest areas—and information functions. Mott’s classifications, carefully detailed and inductively derived, are almost universally subject and topically based. Wolseley draws on both topical and genre terms, particularly in his more detailed 1965 analysis; Ford’s system is almost fully topical. Interpretations of what constitutes general or specialized magazines and their sub-categories, and the specific magazine titles that fit into respective classes and sub-classes, differ, even contradict at times. 115

Simplicity is a key strength of the general-specialized approach to first-level magazine classification. The enduring use of the strategy for categorizing the magazine form points to its ability to describe quickly and succinctly the relationship between two core dimensions: the appeal of content to audience. This may explain in part the ease with which the terms are used in the context of magazine publishing as operational theories for classifying magazines. A key weakness is applying the approach for classification. What one person views as a general magazine or cluster of titles, another may view as specialized, or the inverse. This is evidenced by variances across the schematics described by Hiebert and Gibbons, Mott, Wolseley and Ford.

Finally, in the literature, as in this brief summary, there is evidence that the terms general and specialized are also used to describe the population of magazine and journal periodicals as a whole, as well as trends in information presentation over time, as comparatively more general or specialized. In these contexts, magazine content, audiences, or both, are defined as being more or less general or specialized by comparison with preceding and subsequent time periods. Thus, patterns of relative specialization, or lack thereof, emerge and shift, as multiple factors, including but not restricted to technology, economic, social and cultural shifts, come into play.

Editorial interest area classification. The second classification strategy clusters periodicals at the first-level by the similarities in their shared, over-arching subject, topic or unifying theme for editorial content. Identified as the editorial interest area approach, this strategy was the second most used in the 1977 to 1991 research literature (n = 61; 27.4% of 223 studies). 116 As an operational classification theory, it not only names the unifying topic for content, it is frequently used to identify titles that are direct competitors for readers. Based on editorial content, the strategy is strongly related to advertising content, 117 which in turn creates a strong relation to the economics of publishing, including subscriptions, newsstand sales and advertising revenues. 118 Category labels designate specific subject or topic areas and thereby focus on content with greater specificity than in the general-specialized dichotomy. At face value, the approach is intuitive and transparent. No analyses appear to have been done of labels that are used in directories and reference books, but a cursory examination of labels used in multiple directories shows category names pointing to content by single-valued subjects (e.g., sports); indicate other dimensions, such as a range of content designed for specific audiences (e.g., women’s interests); and describe content treatment characteristics (e.g., literature, or literary magazines, or newsmagazines). 119

Magazine and mass communication textbooks commonly refer to these topical clusters without reference to the universe. Scholarly research similarly names a title or cluster of titles as part of study designs in isolation, while also typically identifying the editorial interest area as integral to the study. Examples include analyzing women’s magazines’ framing of empowerment versus victimization for abused women 120 ; the relationship between reading women’s sports magazines and adolescent female self-objectification and mental health 121 ; or textual analysis of a literary magazine. 122 The global use of the strategy is illustrated in the work of Copenhagen Business School’s Brian Moeran, who explored how ongoing relationships are negotiated between fashion magazine staff, readers, advertisers and the fashion world. 123

Subject classification appears to derive from both the library sciences and media industries, for which directories and reference books are key providers of subject classification as a first-level categorizing strategy, albeit not universally, 124 providing a full range of categories under which titles are classified. One of the more comprehensive is the international Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, which has used subject-based classification as a first-level strategy since its inception in 1932. 125 From the first directory’s 6,000 titles in roughly 450 subject categories have grown current annual editions that list more than 225,000 serials in upwards of 900 categories and sub-categories. 126 The U.S.–Canadian Bacon’s Magazine Directory has approximately 350 classification and sub-classification groups for its 18,000 periodical listings. 127 The magazine industry also uses subject-based classification in multiple settings that include circulation data bases at auditing companies such as the Alliance for Audited Media (formerly the Audit Bureau of Circulations) and BPA Worldwide (formerly Business Publications Audit of Circulations) 128 and for magazine audience research, conducted by companies such as Mediamark and Simmons. 129

Editorial interest classification can also be traced to early writing about magazine publishing. Tassin, for example, named music, military, German religious, and children’s magazines that were published before 1800, and Richardson compared and contrasted periodicals that covered religion, education, literary issues, science and politics. 130 Internationally, classifying early magazines by subject also points to the essential dimensions of subject, audience and content treatment, specifying relationships that identified what periodicals were about, for whom and how content was treated. Steinberg described magazines that “sprang up almost simultaneously throughout Europe,” beginning in 1663 through the end of the seventeenth century, for men and women and that focused on literary criticism or consisted largely of book reviews. 131

Directories that use first-level, subject-based classification and sub-subject categories typically include individual profiles for each title that falls into the respective classes. Profile descriptions vary in length and content, but in general give insights into the editorial content, purpose and audience. Profiles also include cues to the title’s place in the directories’ sub-classification frameworks. Bacon’s, for example, identifies each title by one or a combination of two or more of seven publication descriptors that reflect information function, geographic coverage and audience demographic. 132 Ulrich’s also lists each title alphabetically within subject classifications. Shorter profiles give a description of content and categorize each title using a somewhat more complex, two-level, sub-classes identification system: The first is called “serial type”; the second, “subject type.” Of the 11 serial type categories, three designate non-newspaper periodical groupings: magazine periodical, journal and bulletin, where bulletin is defined as “a periodical published by an organization or society.” 133 Subject type categories include seven specific to magazine and journal periodicals, for which the definitions encompass topic, target audiences, publisher source and distribution methods. 134

The directory designation of first-level editorial interest area and sub-categorizing kind of publication suggests a relationship between the level(s). Editorial interest areas span sub-category kinds. Thus full identification of a periodical suggests naming editorial interest area and periodical class, as indicated in the respective directories. Editorial interest area labels are typically succinct. As a categorizing system, the operational classification theory’s several strengths are simplicity and ability to point to the unifying topic or subject area as an essential, concrete dimension of content. It is arguably the most consistently tested approach to categorizing magazines: Whether in standard reference directories or industry specific processes, such as circulation auditing, titles are matched to subject area, year after year. A key weakness is a lack of parsimony, a problem that increases over time, as evidenced by comparing Ulrich’s 1932 and 2014 counts. 135

Information-function classification. The third operational theory for classifying magazines creates categories by the over-arching purpose, use or function the periodicals are designed to serve. Used in magazine, advertising and other industry sectors, the umbrella term information-function classification was applied to the range of labels that fell into this approach as it emerged from the analysis of research literature. In the 1995 report, the strategy was used in the research literature only half as often, in 33 of 223 studies, or just under 15% of the cases (n=33; 14.8%), 136 as either the general-specialized or editorial interest area approaches. By contrast, the review of the larger body of industry and scholarly literature on which this chapter is based shows it to be the approach of choice for describing the universe of magazine and journal periodicals: A total 27 sources published immediately before and since 1990 use the approach.

Historically and in the current literature, authors use terms that designate a number of different content characteristics and dimensions—both editorial and advertising, whether advertising is content, a source of revenue, or both—and audience. The terms are also used to suggest marketing and economic functions, with suggested relationships between the characteristics and dimensions variously described as between editorial, advertising and identified target audiences, as well as between source publishers, editorial or advertising content and audiences.

Tracing the use of the information-function approach over time suggests that Theodore Peterson in his Magazines in the Twentieth Century may have brought the industry outlines of the information-function framework to the scholarly literature on magazines. Peterson wrote,

I have limited my subject to commercial magazines edited for the lay public. Therefore, this book does not cover several categories of magazines: … trade and technical publications and scientific and professional journals. Nor does it treat in any detail the farm magazines, which are essentially trade journals for the farmer… . Also excluded are house organs, which are supported by big and little businesses to tell their stories to employees or to the public at large; fraternal and organizational magazines, which draw all or part of their support from the organizations publishing them; religious periodicals, which for the most part have church affiliations; and the so-called “little magazines” of literature and criticism, which generally are not published with commercial intent. 137

Like Mott before him, Peterson was a journalist. His book was based on his doctoral dissertation in one of the early U.S. doctoral programs in mass communication 138 and occasionally uses language that hints at the social scientific, structural-functional perspectives on communication that were taking root in the late 1940s and early 1950s. However, he described his research as drawing heavily on industry sources, 139 and the dominant language derives from the magazine industry. Peterson used the general-specialized terms to introduce and describe the early years of magazine publishing that led to “the birth of the modern magazine” in the United States, 140 but the chapters that follow analyzed social and economic forces on the contemporary industry.

J. William Click and Russell N. Baird may have solidified the approach. In the 1974, first of the six editions of their widely adopted magazine editing and production textbook, they described the universe of magazines in broad, general-specialized terms, then identified groups that parallel Peterson’s.

Although several magazines built tremendous circulations to reach “mass” audiences, others long ago defined their specific audiences and have been serving them for decades. These are special interest magazines, the majority of which are business publications. There are also thousands of magazines issued by companies for … groups related to their communications and public relations programs. 141

Click and Baird broke the first-level, specialized magazines into five sub-classes. Their descriptive use of the general-specialized terms took second place to a greater emphasis on the “types of magazines” presented in information-function terms: consumer magazines, business publications, association magazines and public relations magazines, followed by a third level of selected editorial interest area groups. 142

From the early 1990s to the present, use of the information-function approach has increased in professional and scholarly literature for magazines, journalism and mass communication textbooks and other media-based sources, as well as media-based and general encyclopedias. Wide variances in the frameworks are found in this literature and indicate research needs.

That more than 25 contemporary sources used information-function approaches suggests there is substantial agreement that the approach has greater descriptive power and usefulness in outlining the universe of magazine periodicals than do the general-specialized and editorial interest area approaches. Conversely, the sources describe roughly as many frameworks: None are exactly the same—in number of categories, labels for categories or identification and naming of sub-categories.

All sources agree there are multiple classes of periodicals. Sources also agree on two categories for which the magazines aligned, but the labels varied: First, a category, variously labeled, consumer, general, general interest or specialized consumer magazines. Second, a category that carries some variation of labeling that includes the terms trade, technical, business, specialized business, business to business or professional publications.

Here the agreement in the strategies largely ends and the challenges become apparent. The number of categories in source frameworks range from a low of two (2) 143 to a high of fifteen (1). 144 Within a few frameworks, one or more sources identified a specific number of categories, then added an “Other” category, which included one or more additional clusters, judged not to fit the original groups. Three two-group sources added an “other” category (3). 145

Organization publications were the third category in three-category schematics, where clusters were variously labeled company, organizational, sponsored, public relations, association and in-house and industrial, for six sources (6). 146 The organization category is also included in four-category frameworks (2) 147 ; six-category (4) 148 ; seven-category (2) 149 ; the fifteen-category (1) 150 schematics; and for the Other category for two-category framework (2), 151 for a total of 18 that designated organization magazines and publications as a separate category. Other sources either collapsed organization publication into the business-trade-industrial category or did not mention them.

Scholarly journals were identified as constituting a separate category and labeled using one or a combination of the terms scholarly journals, little magazines, academic journals, literary reviews and literary magazines, as the third category in three-category schematics for three sources (3) 152 and a five-category (1) 153 schematic; and in four-category (1) 154 and five-category (1) 155 frameworks. The remaining sources place scholarly journals in the business-trade-industrial category (1), 156 organization category(3), 157 or do not mention them.

Farm and agriculture publications are a separate category in a three-category system (1) 158 ; four-category (2) 159 ; six-category (2) 160 ; and fifteen-category (1), 161 for a total of 6.

Across the remaining sources, some 17 clusters of magazines were mentioned only one or two times as discrete categories, and included magazines distributed in newspapers (2) 162 ; digital and on-line magazines (3) 163 ; as well as newsletters (2) 164 and comic books (2), 165 among others.

Strategies for sub-categorization vary across source frameworks, from none to clearly identified subjects, numbers of subject classes or audience categories. Again, there was some, but not total agreement on either the sub-categories or the criteria for categorization. Benjamin Compaine’s strategy of designating the consumer magazines as having general and specialized dimensions appeared in several frameworks, 166 and the advertising industry’s sub-division of business or trade publications into horizontal and vertical categories appeared in one. 167

Citation and source use remained uneven. Authors who used information-function approaches in contemporary texts and professional books cite primary or secondary sources more often than did researchers in the 1995 study. Three gave no sources, three used industry-based, advertising rate and data sources. The most frequently used, single source was Click and Baird’s textbook.

Discussion

Three broad bodies of literature provide insights to the on-going questions and issues related to identifying, defining and classifying magazines and journals periodicals. This chapter has focused on several dimensions of definition and problems related to defining what a magazine is by drawing on its common-sense meanings in daily experience, concurrent but different sets of meanings from within the distinct spheres of the magazine publishing industry, and the overlapping worlds of the library sciences and inter-disciplinary and discipline-specific scholarly work. Specific attention was paid to a lexicon of terms that have particularly nettlesome dimensions and diverse meanings, creating confusion about the nature of periodicals, journals, newspapers and their relationships to each other.

The review of the taxonomic literature focused the language and work of systematic classification for identifying and developing taxonomies and typologies, while calling for consideration of the complementary work of the social science and humanities traditions’ respective knowledge and uses of typologies and genre studies as those apply to different dimensions of the magazine form.

A body of literature that shares classification problems similar to those that surround the magazine form can be found in the management and complex social organizations literature. Drawing on this body of research, scholars D. Harold Doty and William H. Glick argue that classification systems can meet the most basic, typological decision tests for fit—that is, that a system may be comprehensive, or exhaustive, and provide clarity for determining which item fits into which group, that is, mutual exclusivity, and still be nothing more than a non-theoretical classification strategy. Theory, Doty and Glick argue, differentiates the simplest levels of classification from higher level conceptual constructions. 168 The goal in their field as well as in magazine classification is to move beyond what Doty and Glick would call “sloppy categorical classification system[s]” because they are not based in theory, 169 to make sense of the highly diverse, fascinating magazine medium, using classification that is solidly grounded in theory.

To that end, the chapter has sought to build a bridge between the on-going need to make sense of the three traditional approaches to classifying magazine and journal periodicals by positioning them as operational classification theories that derive from the everyday work of media professionals. From the further review of the literature published since 1990, this chapter has sought to identify characteristics, dimensions and the relationships between the two that mark these operational classification theories, to ground the operational theories in the scholarly and professional literature, and to identify from analyses of descriptions of the approaches in that literature that suggest needs for research to move the theory of the medium forward.

Conclusion

A theoretically based framework that clearly articulates the core characteristics and relationships among the multiple dimensions of non-newspaper periodicals would serve both scholar and practitioner, equipping them with new tools to enable them to explore multiple facets of communication as it occurs through periodicals in all their diverse forms and philosophies. The maturation of communication theory and research is intensifying the need for a cogent approach to classifying magazine and journal periodicals. The growing body of theoretical perspectives and methods from social-scientific, cultural and critical perspectives is tapping into increasingly important dimensions of mediated communication. Identifying such a framework could provide a solid foundation for research on the magazine medium, overcoming past tendencies toward fragmentation and barriers to communication research on the magazine medium.

Operational classification theory provides a needed tool to build the conceptual bridge between traditional approaches to classifying magazine and journal periodicals and the higher level, social scientific foundations for a theory-based typology of the medium. Benjamin M. Compaine has described multiple tasks for which the daily work in industry draws on these operational classification theories. From these he argued that resolving problems in defining the different kinds of magazines “is of more than academic curiosity.” 170

To Compaine’s list of applied industry uses, given earlier in this chapter, might be added the very practical needs of young professionals, who, upon entering the field, would know available industry options far exceed the well-known titles they see on the newsstand. Given educators’ greater sensitivity to preparing students to observe, report, write and edit for the spectrum of the medium, young professionals could take into entry-level and later positions both a better understanding of where they might best contribute their talents and a stronger working knowledge of how communication can be better effected through different magazine forms. So, too, scholars embarking on the research path would know the horizons are broader than those defined by the so-called general or consumer magazine, whether historical or contemporary. 171

Notes

Robert D. Putnam, “Technology and Mass Media,” Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000), 216–246.

Pew Research Center, “Overview,” State of the News Media 2013: An Annual Report on American Journalism (Washington, DC: Pew Research Center, 2013) <http://stateofthemedia.org/2013/overview-5/>, accessed 3 December 2013; Jane Sasseen, Katerina-Eva Matsa, and Amy Mitchell, “News Magazines: Embracing Their Digital Future,” The State of the News Media 2013: An Annual Report on American Journalism (Washington, DC: Pew Research Center, 2013) <http://stateofthemedia.org/2013/news-magazines-embracing-their-digital-future/>, accessed 3 December 2013.

Zhou He, “Diffusion of Movable Type in China and Europe: Why Were There Two Fates?” Gazette 53.3 (1994): 153–173.

Jim Lehrer, “The New Age of Journalism,” NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, 19 January 2000 <http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/jan-june00/new_journalism_1-19.html>, accessed 20 February 2006; Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (New York: Penguin Books, 1985, 2005), 112.

Michael E. Holmes, Robert A. Papper, Mark N. Popovich, and Michael Bloxham, Middletown Media Studies: Observing Consumers and Their Interaction with Media, Concurrent Media Exposure (Muncie, IN: Ball State University Center for Media Design, Fall 2006). See also, Michael E. Holmes, Robert A. Papper, Mark N. Popovich, and Michael Bloxham, Middletown Media Studies II: Concurrent Media Exposure (Muncie, IN: Ball State University Center for Media Design, 2006); Robert A. Papper, Michael E. Holmes, and Mark N. Popovich, “Middletown Media Studies: Media Multitasking … and How Much People Really Use the Media,” International Digital Media and Arts Association Journal 1.1 (Spring 2004): 4–56; Jim Spaeth, Michael E. Holmes, Bill Moult, and Michael Bloxham, Mind the Measurement Gap: Measured and Unmeasured Media Occasions (Muncie, IN: Ball State University Center for Media Design, June 2006).

Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trans. Thomas Burger and Frederick Lawrence (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1989).

Nick Stevenson, Understanding Media Cultures, 2nd ed. (London: Sage, 2002), 1.

David Renard, “The Last Magazine (in Print),” in David Renard, ed., The Last Magazine (New York: Universe Publishing, 2006), 14–15; Anika Anand, “Is Print Really Dying, or Just Getting Nichier?” Upstart Business Journal, 8 March 2013 <http://upstart.bizjournals.com/companies/media/2013/03/08/time-inc-no-sign-magazines-are-dead.html?page=all>, accessed 3 December 2013; Mark Hooper, “Who Says Print Is Dead?” Guardian, 3 June 2012 <www.theguardian.com/media/2012/jun/03/who-says-print-is-dead>, accessed 2 May 2014; see also, Theodore Peterson, Magazines in the Twentieth Century (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1964), 44–45.

Scott Fosdick, “The State of Magazine Research in 2008,” Journal of Magazine & New Media Research 10.1 (Fall 2008): 1–4; see also, Marcia R. Prior-Miller, “Core Knowledge: Scholarly Research on Magazines” (panel presentation, Magazine Division, at the Annual Meeting, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, August 2008).

Edward J. Fink and Walter Gantz, “A Content Analysis of Three Mass Communication Research Traditions: Social Science, Interpretive Studies, and Critical Analysis,” Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 73.1 (Spring 1996): 114–134; W. James Potter, Roger Cooper, and Michel Dupagne, “The Three Paradigms of Mass Media Research in Mainstream Communication Journals,” Communication Theory 3.4 (November 1993): 317–335; see also, Marcia R. Prior-Miller and Associates, “Bibliography of Published Research on Magazine and Journal Periodicals,” 9th ed. (research database, Ames: Iowa State University, last modified, 31 August 2014), MSWord file <[email protected] >

Prior-Miller and Associates, “Bibliography of Published Research,” 9th ed., 2–3.

Wilbur Schramm, “Twenty Years of Journalism Research,” Public Opinion Quarterly [20th Anniversary Issue] 21.1 (Spring 1957): 91.

Marcia R. Prior-Miller and Kellie L. Esch, found from their analysis of an 11-year census of Communication Abstracts listings that the comparatively scarce research on and related to magazines was marked by information scatter; see “A Census and Analysis of Journals Publishing Research about Magazines, 1977–1987” (paper presented at the Annual Meeting, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, August 1990).

Peter Gerlach, “Research about Magazines Appearing in Journalism Quarterly,” Journalism Quarterly 64.1 (Spring 1987): 178–182; see also, David Abrahamson, “Brilliant Fragments: The Scholarly Engagement with the American Magazine,” in David Abrahamson, ed., The American Magazine: Research Perspectives and Prospects (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1995), xvii–xxi; Margaret Beetham, “Towards a Theory of the Periodical as a Publishing Genre,” in Laurel Brake, Aled Jones, and Lionel Madden, eds., Investigating Victorian Journalism (Houndmills, UK: MacMillan Press, 1990), 19–32; Kathleen L. Endres, “Research Review: The Specialized Business Press,” in David Abrahamson, ed., The American Magazine: Research Perspectives and Prospects (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1995), 72–83; Tim Holmes, “Mapping the Magazine: An Introduction,” in Tim Holmes, ed., Mapping the Magazine: Comparative Studies in Magazine Journalism (London and New York: Routledge, 2008), xv; originally published as Tim Holmes, “Mapping the Magazine: An Introduction,” Journalism Studies 8.4 (August 2007): 510–521; Sammye Johnson, “Why Should They Care? The Relationship of Academic Scholarship to the Magazine Industry,” Journalism Studies 8.4 (August 2007): 522–528; Carolyn Kitch, “Making Scholarly Use of Magazines: What Counts Most? What Gets Left Out?” (panel presentation, Magazine Division, at the Annual Meeting, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, August 2008); Judith Yaross Lee, “From the Field: The Future of American Periodicals and American Periodicals Research,” American Periodicals 15.2 (2005): 196–201; Dorothy Schmidt, “Magazines,” in M. Thomas Inge, ed., Handbook of American Popular Culture (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981), 137–162.

Denis McQuail, McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory, 6th ed. (London: Sage, 2010), 31.

McQuail, McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory, 31.

For an exploration of terms and definitions used to designate the medium, including serial, periodical, magazine and journal, see Marcia R. Prior-Miller, “An Organization Communication-Goals Theory of Magazine Types: Toward an Integrated Conceptual Framework of Magazine and Journal Periodicals as a Medium of Communication,” (Ph.D. diss., Iowa State University, n.d.).

No precise, worldwide count of magazine and journal periodicals is available. The estimated range, with a low of 9,000 and a high of between 250,000 and more than 300,000, is based on numbers drawn from current national and international periodical directories. No directory is fully comprehensive; some are partially redundant and simultaneously do not include magazines and journals that are not listed in any directory. Directories consulted were, in alphabetical order, Bacon’s Magazine Directory 2011, 59th ed. (Chicago: Cision, 2010); Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media (Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning, 2014); Standard Rate and Data Service directories (SRDS Business Media Advertising Source, Part 1, which includes listings found in SRDS Business Media Advertising Source, Part 2, including Healthcare Publications; and SRDS Consumer Media Advertising Source, 2013, which includes a Farm Publications section; all include international publication listings); and Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory 2014 (Vols. 1–4, 52nd ed. New Providence, NJ: ProQuest, 2013). The estimate also draws on Sammye Johnson and Patricia Prijatel’s counts in The Magazine from Cover to Cover, 3rd ed. (New York and London: Oxford University Press, 2013), 16, drawn from the Standard Periodical Directory, National Directory of Magazines, the Custom Content Council (formerly, Custom Publishing Council) for custom magazines, and other magazine publishing associations, including the MPA–the Association of Magazine Media, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the ABM–The Association of Business Information and Media Companies (U.S.). Johnson and Prijatel included Ulrich’s Periodical’s Directory, but also did not draw from the Burrelle’s/Luce Directory; from Association Media and Publishing <http://associationmediaandpublishing.org>, accessed 20 March 2014 (formerly, Society of National Association Publications, SNAP); the Society for Scholarly Publishing <www.sspnet.org>, accessed 20 March 2014; or directories and other industry resources outside the United States. The latter includes the International Federation of the Periodical Press, FIPP <www.fipp.com>, accessed 20 March 2014. See also, Holmes, “Mapping the Magazine,” ix.

Careful attention must be paid to directory and industry source self-descriptions of which periodicals are included and excluded from available counts. Johnson and Prijatel provide a careful outline of periodical counts that are not included in most sources: See Magazine from Cover to Cover, 16.

See, for example, J. William Click and Russell N. Baird, Magazine Editing and Production, 1st to 6th eds. (Dubuque, IA: Wm C. Brown / WCB Brown & Benchmark, 1974–1994), 1994: 4–5; Sammye Johnson and Patricia Prijatel, “The Magazine as a Storehouse: The Scope of the Medium,” The Magazine from Cover to Cover, 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 2–21; Frank Luther Mott, “Introduction,” A History of American Magazines 1741–1850, vol. 1 (New York: D. Appleton, 1930), 1:1–9; Peterson, Magazines in the Twentieth Century, 1964, ix; Lyon N. Richardson, A History of Early American Magazines: 1741–1789 (New York: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1931), x; Schmidt, “Magazines,” 137–138; Algernon Tassin, The Magazine in America (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1916), 1–27; Roland E. Wolseley, “Magazine Types,” Understanding Magazines (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1965), 3–12; 255–355.

Patrick Dunleavy, Studying for a Degree in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan Education Ltd., 1986), 66.

Dunleavy, Studying for a Degree, 66–74.

Scholars and dictionaries traditionally and variously identify the English word magazine as originating from French, Arabic or both, in each case designating a warehouse or storehouse. Contemporary lexicographic and linguistic scholarship suggests the conjoined, sometimes apparent contradiction may also result from the term’s having come through Old Occitan, the “Romance language spoken in southern France,” in the 1100 to 1500 period, followed by Middle French in the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, both of which were heavily influenced by earlier North African invasions that brought Arabic to southern Europe; cf. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 2004), s.vv. “magazine,” “Middle French,” “Occitan,” “Old Occitan.” See also, William D. Paden, An Introduction to Old Occitan (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1998), 3–9; The “Langue d’Oc” and the “Langue d’Oil” <http://www.medieval-spell.com/Langue-d-Oc.html>, accessed 2 April 2014.

Defined as “a body of shared and relatively standardized explanations and interpretations” that represent “personal experience and the accumulated experience of one’s culture”; see George. A. Theodorson and Achilles G. Theodorson, A Modern Dictionary of Sociology (New York: Barnes & Noble / Harper & Row, 1969), s.v. “common sense.”

Richardson, History of Early American Magazines, x. Capitalization per original text.

Frank Luther Mott, A History of American Magazines, vol. 1, A History of American Magazines, 1741–1850 (New York: D. Appleton, 1930), 7.

Mott, History of American Magazines, 1:7.

Click and Baird, Magazine Editing and Production, 1994: 5.

Holmes, “Mapping the Magazine,” 2008: xv.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., s.v. “magazine.” Emphasis in the original.

Evidence of the overtime adoption of the consumer magazine terminology in international publishing is given in, for example, Anthony Davis, “The Magazine World,” Magazine Journalism Today (Oxford, UK: Heinemann Professional Publishing, 1988), 3–14, 10; Sonja Narunsky-Laden, “Consumer Magazines in South Africa and Israel: Toward a Socio-Semiotic Approach to Magazine Research,” Journalism Studies 8.4 (2007): 595–612; and Stern Magazine, Consumer Magazines in Europe (Hamburg: Gruner + Jahr AG & Co., 1981).

Mott, History of American Magazines, 1:7.

See, for example, Beetham, “Towards a Theory of the Periodical as a Publishing Genre,” 19.

McQuail, McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory, 31.

Click and Baird, Magazine Editing and Production, 1994: ix.

Mott, History of American Magazines, 1:7.

Mott, History of American Magazines, 1:5–6.

Beetham, after defining periodicals to include “newspapers, journals, reviews and magazines,” focused on “the periodical,” the use of which in this context might or might not be read to include the newspaper form; see “Towards a Theory of the Periodical as a Publishing Genre,” 19.

James T.F. Tanner, “From the Editor,” American Periodicals: A Journal of History, Criticism, and Bibliography 1.1 (Fall 1991): iii.

Mott, History of American Magazines, 1:6.

Mott, History of American Magazines, 1:9.

Fritz Machlup, Kenneth Leeson, and Associates, “Terminological Notes,” Information through the Printed Word: The Dissemination of Scholarly, Scientific, and Intellectual Knowledge (New York: Praeger, 1978), vol. 1, Book Publishing, 15–22; Fritz Machlup, Kenneth Leeson, and Associates, “Scope, Structure, and Market of the Journal-Publishing Industry,” Information through the Printed Word: The Dissemination of Scholarly, Scientific, and Intellectual Knowledge (New York: Praeger, 1978), vol. 2, Journals, ii–iv, 3–37; Richard D. Johnson described their work as “seminal” in “Machlup and the Information Age,” Scholarly Publishing 18.4 (July 1987): 271.

Machlup, Leeson, and Associates, “Scope, Structure, and Market of the Journal-Publishing Industry,” 3–11; Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory uses an 11-category definition of serials, separating newspapers from non-newspaper periodicals; Shawn Chen, e-mail to author, Senior associate editor (Ulrich’s Serials, New Providence, NJ: Serials Solutions, 14 July 2011).

Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, AACR2.org, 2006 <http://www.aacr2.org/>, accessed 16 April 2014. The AACR is a cooperative effort of the American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals that includes more than 13 countries on five continents. See also, “What Is a Serial?” CONSER Cataloging Manual, Library of Congress, <http://www.itsmarc.com/crs/mergedprojects/conser/conser/module_2_1__ccm.htm>, accessed 18 April 2014; Cathy Sagendorf and David Moore, “Module 33: Newspapers,” CONSER Cataloging Manual, Library of Congress, 2006 <http://www.loc.gov/acq/conser/pdf/CCM-Module-33.pdf>, accessed 18 April 2014; Jean Hirons, “Revising AACR2 to Accommodate Seriality: Report to the Joint Steering Committee on the Revision of AACR,” CONSER, Library of Congress, April 1999 <http://www.rda-jsc.org/docs/ser-rep.pdf>, accessed 2 May 2014; see also, Renette Davis, “RDA Serials Cataloging: Changes from AACR2 to RDA,” Library of Congress, PowerPoint, 22 September 2010.

Mott, History of American Magazines, 1:9. By the end of his life, Mott expressed regret over that decision. See Frank Luther Mott, “Unfinished Story; or, the Man in the Carrel,” Time Enough: Essays in Autobiography (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1962), 172.

See, for example, David Abrahamson, ed., The American Magazine: Research Perspectives and Prospects (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1995); Click and Baird, Magazine Editing and Production, 1st to 6th eds.; Johnson and Prijatel, Magazine from Cover to Cover; James B. Kobak, “Just What Is a Magazine?” How to Start a Magazine and Publish It Profitably (New York: M. Evans & Company, 2002), 17–18; Leonard Mogel, “What Is a Magazine?” The Magazine, 4th ed. (Pittsburgh: GATF Press, 1998), 10–12; Mott, History of American Magazines, 1:1–9; Theodore Peterson, “Magazine,” in Erik Barnouw, George Gerbner, Wylbur Schramm, Tobia L. Worth, and Larry Gross, eds., International Encyclopedia of Communications, vol. 2 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 463–468; Schmidt, “Magazines,” 137–162; Wolseley, “Magazine Types,” 3–12; 255–355; and Roland E. Wolseley, “The Role of Magazines in the U.S.A,” Gazette 23.1 (1977): 20–26.

David Abrahamson, “Magazine Exceptionalism: The Concept, the Criteria, the Challenge,” Journalism Studies 8.4 (2007): 667–670; Holmes, “Mapping the Magazine,” 2008: x–xi.

Kenneth D. Bailey, Typologies and Taxonomies: An Introduction to Classification Techniques (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1994); Edward A. Tiryakian, “Typologies,” in David L. Sills, ed., International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, vol. 16 (New York: MacMillan, 1968), 177–186.

See, for example, Sacvan Bercovitch, ed., Typology and Early American Literature (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1972); Peter Martens, “Revisiting the Allegory/Typology Distinction: The Case of Origen,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 16 (2008): 283–317; Earl Miner, ed., Literary Uses of Typology from the Late Middle Ages to the Present (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977).

See Daniel Chandler, “An Introduction to Genre Theory,” Aberystwyth University, 1997 <http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/intgenre/chandler_genre_theory.pdf>, accessed 12 April 2014.

Bailey, Typologies and Taxonomies, 6, quoting George Gaylord Simpson, “Systematics, Taxonomy, Classification, Nomenclature,” Principles of Animal Taxonomy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961), 11; see also, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., s.v. “taxonomy.”

Bailey, Typologies and Taxonomies, 3–10; Aleksey Bashtavenko, Principles of Typology (Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2008), 3–32; Tiryakian, “Typologies,” 177–186; see also, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., s.v. “typology”; Theodorson and Theodorson, Modern Dictionary of Sociology, s.vv. “type, social, 2,” “typology.”

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., s.v. “genre”; see also, M.M. Bakhtin, “The Epic and the Novel: Towards a Methodology for the Study in the Novel,” in The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M.M. Bakhtin, ed Michael Holquist, trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981), 3–40; Amy J. Devitt, “A Theory of Genre,” Writing Genres (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2004), 1–32.

See Dallas Liddle’s prologue to The Dynamics of Genre: Journalism and the Practice of Literature in Mid-Victorian Britain (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009), 1–11; see also, Beetham, “Towards a Theory of the Periodical as a Publishing Genre,” 19–32; Chandler, “An Introduction to Genre Theory.”

Tiryakian, “Typologies,” 177.

Paul Davidson Reynolds, A Primer in Theory Construction (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1971), 3–4. Emphasis in the original.

Reynolds, Primer in Theory Construction, 4.

Bailey, Typologies and Taxonomies, 1.

Among the earliest known reports of research on magazines published as scholarly journal articles are two from 1934 and 1937: Winona Morgan and Alice M. Leahy, “The Cultural Content of General Interest Magazines,” Journal of Educational Psychology 25 (October 1934): 530–536; and Paul F. Lazarsfeld and Rowena Wyant, “Magazines in 90 Cities—Who Reads What?” Public Opinion Quarterly 1.4 (October 1937): 29–41. Also published in 1930 and 1931 were the first volume of Frank Luther Mott’s encyclopedic, five-volume A History of American Magazines; and Richardson’s History of Early American Magazines, respectively. Tassin’s 1916 history, Magazine in America, preceded both by more than a decade.

Marguerite Deslauriers, Aristotle on Definition (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2007); see also, Robert Bierstedt, “Nominal and Real Definitions in Sociological Theory,” in Llewellyn Gross, ed., Symposium on Sociological Theory (Evanston, IL: Row, Peterson, 1959), 121–144.

Chunglin Kwa, “The Taxonomic Style,” Styles of Knowing: A New History of Science from Ancient Times to the Present, trans. David McKay (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), 165.

Kwa, “The Taxonomic Style,” 166.

Kwa, “The Taxonomic Style,” 166.

Chandler, “An Introduction to Genre Theory,” 1.

For discussions of sociologists’ diverse views, see, for example, Bailey, Typologies and Taxonomies, 10–16; Tiryakian, “Typologies,” 177–186; and D. Harold Doty and William H. Glick, “Typologies as a Unique Form of Theory Building: Toward Improved Understanding and Modeling,” Academy of Management Review 19.2 (1994): 230–233.

For a succinct summary of the anti-science argument and additional readings, see Jacob Barrie Gordon, “Can Sociologists Study Society in the Same Way That Scientists Study the Natural World?” Jake Gordon, 2002 <http://jakeg.co.uk/essays/science>, accessed 14 February 2014; see also, Pierre Bourdieu, “The Specificity of the Scientific Field and the Social Conditions of the Progress of Reason,” Social Science Information 14.6 (1975): 19–47.

See, for example, Annie Lang, “Discipline in Crisis? The Shifting Paradigm of Mass Communication Research,” Communication Theory 23.1 (February 2013): 10–24.

Fink and Gantz, “A Content Analysis of Three Mass Communication Research Traditions,” 114–134; Potter, Cooper, and Dupagne, “The Three Paradigms of Mass Media Research,” 317–335; see also, Prior-Miller and Associates, “Bibliography of Published Research,” 9th ed.

Bailey, Typologies and Taxonomies, 1–16; Doty and Glick, “Typologies as a Unique Form of Theory Building”; Reynolds, Primer in Theory Construction, 4–5; see also, Dennis T. Lowry, “Population Validity of Communication Research: Sampling the Samples,” Journalism Quarterly 56.1 (Spring 1979): 62–68, 76.

Earl Babbie, The Practice of Social Research, 11th ed. (Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2007), 22–23, 132–133.

McQuail, McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory, 126–127, 143–144; see also, 102–103, 544.

McQuail, McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory, 126–127.

McQuail, McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory, 10–13.

McQuail, McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory, 126.

See, for example, Abrahamson, “Magazine Exceptionalism,” 667–670; Beetham, “Towards a Theory of the Periodical as a Publishing Genre”; and Ann Ardis, “Towards a Theory of Periodical Studies,” Roundtable opening statement at the Annual Convention, Modern Language Association, January 2013.

Reynolds, Primer in Theory Construction, 4–5, emphasis added. See also, Bailey, Typologies and Taxonomies, 1–16; Tiryakian, “Typologies,” 177–178.

See, for example, Johnson and Prijatel, “The Magazine as a Storehouse,” 11–16; Kobak, “Just What Is a Magazine?” 17–18; Shannon E. Martin, “Using Expert Sources in Breaking Science Stories: A Comparison of Magazine Types,” Journalism Quarterly 68.1/2 (Spring/Summer 1991): 179–187; Mott, “Introduction,” History of American Magazines, 1:1–2; see also, Benjamin M. Compaine, Consumer Magazines at the Crossroads: A Study of General and Special Interest Magazines (White Plains, NY: Knowledge Industry Publications, 1974); Benjamin M. Compaine, “The Magazine Industry: Developing the Special Interest Audience,” Journal of Communication 30.2 (June 1980): 98–103.

See, for example, Click and Baird, Magazine Editing and Production, 1994:6; Wolseley, “Magazine Types,” 9.

See, for example, Mogel, “What Is a Magazine?” 10–12; Charles P. Daly, Patrick Henry, and Ellen Ryder, “Overview of Magazine Publishing,” The Magazine Publishing Industry (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1997), 1–20.

Of the 30 sources whose classification frameworks were examined for this study, more than half (17) used “type” and “types” to refer to the classification strategies.

See Marcia R. Prior-Miller, “Research Review: Issues in Magazine Typology,” in David Abrahamson, ed., The American Magazine: Research Perspectives and Prospects (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1995), 13–18.

Jonathan Grix, “Introducing Students to the Generic Terminology of Social Research,” Politics 22.3 (2002): 175–186.

McQuail, McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory, 5.

McQuail’s commonly used descriptor, mass communication theory, is not an exact fit for the dimensions of communication that occur through the magazine in all its forms. Neither is mediated interpersonal communication, as defined, for example, by Stephen Littlejohn in Theories of Human Communication, 4th ed. (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 1992), 17, 262–292. Rather, communication that occurs through the magazine form draws on multiple theoretical streams. See also Charles R. Wright, Mass Communication: A Sociological Perspective, 2nd, 3rd eds. (New York: Random House, 1975, 1986), 2:6–12, 3:3–27.

Denis McQuail, Mass Communication Theory: An Introduction, 1st, 2nd eds. (Beverly Hills, CA, and London: Sage, 1984, 1987), 1: 17–18, 2: 4–5.

McQuail, McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory, 14.

Compaine, Consumer Magazines at the Crossroads, 28.

Compaine, Consumer Magazines at the Crossroads, 28.

Researchers use a variety of descriptors for the topical categorization of periodicals, as do periodical directories. Prior-Miller, “Issues in Magazine Typology,” 1995: 10, called the categories “editorial interest areas” to differentiate between editorial and advertising topical categorization.

The four patterns are described in greater detail in Prior-Miller, “Issues in Magazine Typology,” 1995: 7, 8–13. See also Marcia R. Prior-Miller, “Research Review: Issues in Magazine Typology,” Electronic Journal of Communication/La Revue de Electronique de Communication 4.2/4 (December 1994), <eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ494512>, accessed 30 May 2014.

See summary descriptions in Prior-Miller, “Issues in Magazine Typology,” 1994: Unpaginated, 1995: 13–19.

Prior-Miller, data from research, not reported in “Issues in Magazine Typology,” 1995: 8–13.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., defines general as “involving, applicable to, or affecting the whole; … every member of a class, kind, or group … not confined by specialization or careful limitation,” s.v. “general”; and specialized is what general is not: “characterized by or exhibiting … specialization; … highly differentiated, esp. in a particular direction or for a particular end,” or, “designed … for one particular purpose,” s.v. “specialized.”

See, for example, Kineta H. Hung, Flora Fang Gu, and David K. Tse, “Improving Media Decisions in China: A Targetability and Cost-Benefit Analysis,” Journal of Advertising 34.1 (Spring 2005): 49–63; Martin, “Using Expert Sources in Breaking Science Stories,” 179–187; Christopher W. Podeschi, “The Culture of Nature and the Rise of Modern Environmentalism: The View through General Audience Magazines, 1945–1980,” Sociological Spectrum 27.3 (March 2007): 299–331.

Hung, Gu, and Tse, “Improving Media Decisions in China”; Anniken Westad, “The Norwegian Magazine Industry: An Overview and Bibliographic Review” (Paper presented to the Contemporary Magazine Publishing Research Roundtable, Iowa State University, December 2010).

Mott, “Introduction,” History of American Magazines, 1:2.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., s.v. “appeal”; see also, Compaine, Consumer Magazines at the Crossroads, 58. Compaine’s articulation of the general-specialized strategy is a second-level categorization, specific to the consumer magazine category.

Tassin, Magazine in America, 1.

The full title stated on the cover of the first issue, dated January 1741, was The General Magazine, and Historical Chronicle, for all the British Plantations in America. See Johnson and Prijatel, The Magazine from Cover to Cover, 68–69.

Richardson, History of Early American Magazines, 1.

Schmidt, “Magazines,” 137; see also, Tassin, Magazine in America, 1–6; Colin Clair, A History of European Printing (London and New York: Academic Press, 1976), 296; Peterson, “Magazine,” 463–468; Sigfrid H. Steinberg, Five Hundred Years of Printing, new ed., rev. John Trevitt (London: British Library & Oak Knoll Press, 1955/1996), 124–125.

Peterson, Magazines in the Twentieth Century, 1964: 20–59; see also, W. Ronald Lane, Karen Whitehill King, and Tom Reichert, “Using Magazines,” Kleppner’s Advertising Procedure, 18th ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall / Pearson, 2011), 321–322; Johnson and Prijatel, Magazine from Cover to Cover, 59–87; William. H. Taft, American Magazines for the 1980s (New York: Hastings House, 1982), 15–24; Wolseley, Understanding Magazines, 25–98.

Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trans. Thomas Burger and Frederick Lawrence (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1989), 181–235.

Steinberg, Five Hundred Years of Printing, 162.

Lane, King, and Reichert, “Using Magazines,” 321–322; see also, Johnson and Prijatel, Magazine from Cover to Cover, 59–87; Peterson, Magazines in the Twentieth Century, 1964: 20–59; Taft, American Magazines for the 1980s, 15–24; Wolseley, Understanding Magazines, 25–98.

Lane, King, and Reichert, “Using Magazines,” 321–322; see also, Johnson and Prijatel, Magazine from Cover to Cover, 59–87; Taft, American Magazines for the 1980s, 15–24; Wolseley, Understanding Magazines, 25–98.

Newer audience-based approaches are indicated in, for example, Theodore F. D’Amico, “Magazines’ Secret Weapon: Media Selection on the Basis of Behavior As Opposed to Demography,” Journal of Advertising Research 39.6 (November/December 1999): 53–60.

Renard, “The Last Magazine (in Print),” 14–15.

David Abrahamson, “The Future of Magazines, 2010–2020,” Journal of Magazine & New Media Research 10.2 (Spring 2009): 1–3.

Ray Eldon Hiebert and Sheila Jean Gibbons, “Books, Magazines and Newsletters,” Exploring Mass Media for a Changing World (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2000), 177.

Hiebert and Gibbons, “Books, Magazines and Newsletters,” 178.

Hiebert and Gibbons, “Books, Magazines and Newsletters,” 179–180.

Frank Luther Mott, A History of American Magazines, vol. 1, A History of American Magazines, 1741–1850; vol. 2, A History of American Magazines, 1850–1865; vol. 3, A History of American Magazines, 1865–1885; vol. 4, A History of American Magazines, 1885–1905; vol. 5, A History of American Magazines, 1905–1930 (New York: D. Appleton, 1930; Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press, 1938, 1938, 1957; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968).

Wolseley, “Magazine Types,” 3–12, 255–355; James L.C. Ford, Magazines for Millions: The Story of Specialized Publications (Carbondale: South Illinois University Press, 1969), 1–12; Wolseley, “The Role of Magazines in the U.S.A,” 20–26.

Detailed diagrams of the sources’ frameworks are available from the author. Any errors in translating their verbal descriptions into first, second and third level sub-categories are this author’s.

Prior-Miller, data from research, not reported in “Issues in Magazine Typology,” 1995: 8–13.

These title clusters are used as a second-level classification strategy in the Standard Rate and Data Service Consumer Media and Business Media Advertising Source directories, where they are called “Editorial Classifications”; see SRDS Media Business Advertising Source, Parts 1 and 2 and SRDS Consumer Media Advertising Source.

See, for example, Emma Bazilian, “Home Improvement: With Luxury on the Upswing, Shelter Magazines are Raising the Roof,” AdWeek, 22 May 2012 <http://www.adweek.com/news/press/home-improvement-140629>, accessed 4 May 2014.

See, for example, Bacon’s Magazine Directory, Burrelle’s/Luce Directory (Livingston, NJ: Information Services), National Directory of Magazines (New York: Oxbridge Communications, 2014), Standard Periodical Directory (New York: Oxbridge Communications, 2014) and Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory.

Nancy Berns, “Women’s Magazines: The Victim Empowerment Frame,” Framing the Victim: Domestic Violence, Media, and Social Problems (Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter, 2004), 55–81.

Kristen Harrison and Barbara L. Fredrickson, “Women’s Sports Media, Self-Objectification, and Mental Health in Black and White Adolescent Females,” Journal of Communication 53.2 (2003): 216–232.

Orayb Aref Najjar, “ ‘The Editorial Family of al-Kateb Bows in Respect’: The Construction of Martyrdom Text Genre in One Palestinian Political and Literary Magazine,” Discourse & Society 7.4 (1996): 499–530.

See, for example, Brian Moeran, “More than Just a Fashion Magazine,” Current Sociology 54.5 (September 2006): 725–744.

An exception is the Gale Directory of Publications and Broadcast Media, for which the international volume, 5, and U.S. volumes, 1–4, are organized geographically: alphabetically by country (city within country) and by state (city within state), respectively.

Carolyn F. Ulrich, the directory’s first editor and chief of the periodicals division of the New York Public Library, described the directory as meeting “the need for an up-to-date classified list of foreign and domestic periodicals”; Periodicals Directory: A Classified Guide to a Selected List of Current Periodicals Foreign and Domestic (New York: R. R. Bowker, 1932), ix.

Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory 2014, 1: vii.

Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory 2014 is available in hard copy and electronic database formats and calls the categories subject classifications. Bacon’s Magazine Directory, a directory for public relations professionals now available only as a digital database, calls categories market classifications.

Stuart Elliott, “Renaming the Circulation Overseer,” New York Times, 14 November 2012 <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/15/business/media/renaming-the-audit-bureau-of-circulations.html?_r=0>, accessed 2 May 2014; “About BPA,” BPA Worldwide <http://www.bpaww.com/Bpaww_com/Pages/AboutBPA.aspx>, accessed 18 April 2014.

Daniel Mallett, “The Relationship of Screen-In Rates and Readership Levels in MRI and SMRB (Mediamark Research Inc., Simmons Market Research Bureau),” Journal of Advertising Research [Special Issue: The Growing Importance of Media Research] 33.1 (1993): 18–22; Joe Mandese, “Simmons Adopts Rival’s Audience Methodology: Magazine Research Change Will Cost Less,” Advertising Age, 19 September 1994, 1.

Tassin, Magazine in America, 1; Richardson, History of Early American Magazines, 74–162.

Steinberg, Five Hundred Years of Printing, 124–126.

Bacon’s Magazine Directory, 7, lists categories as Consumer Interest Publications; Trade (Business/Trade/Professional Publications); Newsletter Format; Local, State or Regional Editorial Emphasis; Canadian Publications; African-American Publications; Hispanic Audiences Publications.

[Emphasis added] Ulrich’s 8 additional serial types categories define non-periodical serials: Newsletter, Newspaper, Catalog, Directory, Monographic Series. Three additional categories added in 2011 are unofficial: Handbook/Manual, Report and Other Format. Chen, e-mail to author (14 July 2011).

Ulrich’s periodical subject categories are (1) Academic/Scholarly (defined as, “content is geared toward academic fields”); (2) Refereed Serial (keyed and defined as, “â–ºknown to be referred or juried, as identified by publisher”); (3) Consumer (“content aimed at consumer interests and information”); (4) Corporate (“content specifically for a corporation or institution and people associated with the corporation”); (5) Government (“content government produced for government related use”); (6) Internal (“exclusively used by members or employees of organization”); (7) Trade (“content geared towards specific trades”); and (8) Newspaper Publication (“is distributed with newspapers”). Chen, e-mail to author (14 July 2011).

Ford, Magazines for Millions, 5, reported having grouped the 215 classifications in Standard Rate and Data Service’s Consumer, Farm and Business directories into nine specialized clusters for his 1969 analysis. He did not provide details of collapsed groups; no similar reports were found elsewhere in the literature.

Prior-Miller, data from research, not reported in “Issues in Magazine Typology,” 11, 15–17.

Peterson, Magazines in the Twentieth Century, 1956: viii, 1964: ix.

Peterson, Magazines in the Twentieth Century, 1956: vii–ix.

Peterson listed the trade periodicals Advertising Age, Tide and Editor & Publisher; news magazines Newsweek and Time; Ayer’s directories; Standard Rate and Data Service and Standard and Poor’s Standard Corporation Descriptions and Standard Corporation Records; as well as the magazines about which he wrote. See Magazines in the Twentieth Century, 397.

Peterson, Magazines in the Twentieth Century, 1956, 1964: 1–17.

Click and Baird, Magazine Editing and Production, 1974: 4.

Click and Baird, Magazine Editing and Production, 1:4–6, 14–29, 30–46; see editions 2 to 6 (1974, 1979–1994) for variations on the strategy introduced in the first edition that included a one-shot magazines category.

Jean Folkerts and Stephen Lacy, “Magazines,” The Media in Your Life, 2nd ed. (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2001), 114–143; Holmes, “Mapping the Magazine,” 2008: ix.

Melvin L. DeFleur and Everette E. Dennis, “Magazines: Voices for Many Interests,” Understanding Mass Communication, 6th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998), 97–126.

To his two categories, Davis identified as a third, other group, “ ‘alternative,’ underground and cult magazines,” in “The Magazine World,” 10–12; Samir Husni’s third, other group named religious magazines, as organization publications, in Launch Your Own Magazine. A Guide for Succeeding in Today’s Marketplace (Nashville: Hamblett House, 1998), 4–5; Michael Bugeja’s third, other group included two or three clusters, identified as “association,” “sponsored or custom” and Internet magazines,” in “Magazine,” World Book Encyclopedia (Chicago: World Book, 2008), 42–43.

Shirley Biagi, “Magazines: Targeting the Audience,” Media/Impact: An Introduction to Mass Media, 9th ed. (Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010), 72–91; Ronald T. Farrar, “Magazines,” Mass Communication: An Introduction to the Field, 2nd ed. (Madison, WI: Brown & Benchmark, 1996), G.1–18; Thomas M. Pasqua, Jr., James K. Buckalew, Robert E. Rayfield, and James W., Tankard, Jr., “Magazines,” Mass Media in the Information Age (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990), 66–83; David E. Sumner and Shirrel Rhoades, Magazines: A Complete Guide to the Industry, New York: Peter Lang, 2006, 5–6; John Vivian, “Magazines,” The Media of Mass Communication, 8th ed. (Boston: Pearson, 2007), 80–99; William James Willis and Diane B. Willis, “Magazines and the Search for Specialization,” New Directions in Media Management (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1993), 65–89.

Jay Black and Jennings Bryant, “Magazines,” Introduction to Media Communication, 4th ed. (Dubuque, IA: Brown & Benchmark, 1995), 121–150; Peterson, “Magazine,” 463–468.

Joseph R. Dominick, “Magazines,” The Dynamics of Mass Communication: Media in Transition, 11th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011), 108–129; Warren K. Agee, Phillip. H. Ault, and Edwin Emery, “Magazines,” Introduction to Media Communications, 12th ed. (New York: Longman, 1997), 153–177; Click and Baird, Magazine Editing and Production, 1994:7–9, 24–26; Daly, Henry, and Ryder, “Overview of Magazine Publishing,” 7–8.

Stanley J. Baran, “Magazines,” Introduction to Mass Communication: Media Literacy and Culture, 3rd ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2004), 132–157; Johnson and Prijatel, “The Magazine as a Storehouse,” 11–16.

DeFleur and Dennis, “Magazines: Voices for Many Interests,” 97–126.

Husni, Launch Your Own Magazine, 4–5; Bugeja, “Magazine,” 42–43.

Albert N. Greco, “The Economics of Books and Magazines,” in Alison Alexander, James Owers, Rod Carveth, C. Ann Hollifield, and Albert N. Greco, eds., Media Economics: Theory and Practice, 3rd ed. (Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2003), 127–147; John C. Merrill, John D. Lee, and Edward Jay Friedlander, “Books and Magazines,” Modern Mass Media (New York: Harper & Row, 1990), 140–168; Mogel, “What Is a Magazine?” 10–12.

Joseph Turow, “The Magazine Industry,” Media Today: An Introduction to Mass Communication, 3rd ed. (New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis, 2009), 342–374.

Peterson, “Magazine,” 463–468.

Dominick, “Magazines,” 108–129.

James D. Harless, “The American Magazine: A Range of Reading,” Mass Communication: An Introductory Survey, 2nd ed. (Dubuque: Wm. C. Brown, 1990), 148–180.

Click and Baird, Magazine Editing and Production, 1994:7–9, 24–26; Johnson and Prijatel, “The Magazine as a Storehouse,” 11–16; Vivian, “Magazines,” 80–99.

Stan Le Roy Wilson, “Magazines: The Specialized Medium,” Mass Media/Mass Culture: An Introduction, 2nd ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1992), 121–145.

Black and Bryant, “Magazines,” 121–150; Kobak, “Just What Is a Magazine?” 17–18.

Agee, Ault, and Emery, “Magazines,” 153–177; Click and Baird, Magazine Editing and Production, 1994: 7–9, 24–26.

DeFleur and Dennis, “Magazines: Voices for Many Interests,” 97–126.

Agee, Ault, and Emery, “Magazines,” 153–177; Johnson and Prijatel, “The Magazine as a Storehouse,” 11–16.

Baran, “Magazines,” 132–157; Johnson and Prijatel, “The Magazine as a Storehouse,” 11–16; Bugeja, “Magazine,” 42–43.

Dominick, “Magazines,” 108–129; Turow, “The Magazine Industry,” 342–374.

Daly, Henry, and Ryder, “Overview of Magazine Publishing,” 7–8; Turow, “The Magazine Industry,” 342–374.

Compaine, Consumer Magazines at the Crossroads, v; Compaine, “The Magazine Industry,” 100–101. See Agee, Ault, and Emery, “Magazines,” 153–177; Greco, “The Economics of Books and Magazines,” 127–147; Johnson and Prijatel, “The Magazine as a Storehouse,” 11–16; Mogel, “What Is a Magazine?” 10–12; Willis and Willis, “Magazines and the Search for Specialization,” 65–89.

Agee, Ault, and Emery, “Magazines,” 153–177.

Doty and Glick, “Typologies as a Unique Form of Theory Building,” 231–233.

Doty and Glick, “Typologies as a Unique Form of Theory Building,” 231–233.

Compaine, Consumer Magazines at the Crossroads, 28.

Portions of this chapter are drawn from the author’s doctoral dissertation. See Prior-Miller, “An Organization Communication-Goals Theory of Magazine Types.”

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