Terminology Alert: Periodicity/Frequency of Issues in Periodicals/ Journals/Serials

While writing an article on Library and Information Science Journals published in India I was faced with terminology problem for defining periodicity/frequency of issues. Tried Googling but did not get clarity…Infact ended up getting more confused.


Bi-weekly and Semi-weekly is the same – periodicity being twice a week as per Google featured snippets. Biweekly means once every two weeks or twice a week! How is once every two weeks (1 issue in 15days) and twice a week is (2 issues in 7days) same?


Source: https://www.google.co.in/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=SV_qV-rcE4OCoAP68oSwCA#q=semi+weekly


So requested a couple of senior LIS professionals (Dr A L Moorthy & Dr P Divakar) who kindly explained and made it clear! Sharing the same with followers of my blog!

The ‘frequency of publication’ varies from country to country, perhaps depending on British English or American English.


Commonwealth Countries (like Australia, New Zealand, India) generally follow the British English. In India bi-weekly means twice a week but in North America bi-weekly is once in 2 weeks.  (Example: Indian Railway Time table, a bi-weekly train runs two times in a week)


It is observed that America dominates the scholarly environment, hence American conventions and definitions on terms like periodicity/frequency will be followed as is given below:


S No Abbreviation Periodicity Frequency Number
1. d Daily once per day 365/12
2. i ——– three times per week 156/12
3. c Semi-Weekly two times per week (‘half of a week’) 104/12
4. w Weekly once per week 52/12
5. j ——– three times per month 36/12


6. e Bi-Weekly every two weeks 26/12


7. s Semi-Monthly = Fortnight two times per month (‘half of a month’) 24/12
8. m Monthly once per month 12/12
9. b Bi-Monthly every two months 6/12
10. q Quarterly four times per year 4/12
11. t ——– three times per year 3/12
12. f Semi-Annual = Bi-Annual two times per year (‘half of a year’) 2/12
13. a Annual once per year 1/12
14. g Biennial every two years 1/24
15. h Triennial every three years 1/36
16. z ——– KNOWN: other frequencies (quadrennial – every four years, quinquennial – every five years, etc.) 1/48, 1/60 etc
17. k Irregular known to be so (no determinable frequency)
18. u ——– UNKNOWN other frequencies


Request all LIS professionals to read it and get in touch with me at AchalaMunigalRao@gmail.com if there is any discrepency found.


  • Dr P Divakar Former Librarian, CCMB, Hyd
  • Dr A L Moorthy, Former Director-DESIDOC & Chief Consultant (Inf Sci), BrahMos Aerospace, Hyd

Source: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/dts/holdings_rec_mgt/irism_freqcode.html


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Terminology Alert: Periodicity/Frequency of Issues in Journals by Dr Achala Munigal is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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4 Responses to “Terminology Alert: Periodicity/Frequency of Issues in Periodicals/ Journals/Serials”

  1. Rupesh Says:

    The post is quite enlightening…LIS professionals (in India) have long stopped giving attention to such details, unfortunately. Good one.



  2. IndiaLibraries Says:

    Reblogged this on IndiaLibraries.

  3. Mala Dasappa Says:

    Useful information sir.

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