Malacological Journals and Newsletters
compiled and edited by Rüdiger Bieler and Alan R. Kabat

Molluscan journals began in the 1770s, with a series of short-lived German serials published by J. S. Schröter. Today, the field of molluscan literature is blessed with (and at times haunted by) an amazing diversity of serials. These include scientific journals that publish original research articles intended as part of the permanent scientific record. They also include newsletters, often from regional shell clubs, meant to disseminate knowledge in layman's terms and often providing valuable zoogeographic and ecological information (and, unfortunately, inadvertently or deliberately from time to time introducing taxonomic descriptions and type designations). The boundaries between these are sometimes blurred, with newsletters sometimes developing into peer-reviewed journals and self-proclaimed journals occasionally disappearing into oblivion.

Malacological serials are published in many countries around the world and most are not tracked by indexing or interlibrary loan services. Numerous title changes over time, duplicate names, and often rapidly changing places (and even countries) of publication, have made it very difficult to obtain such materials. In 1991 we published an annotated list of 286 malacological journals and newsletters (representing 374 titles from 31 countries), 157 of which were still being published.

The following link provides excerpts from that article, giving details on the compilation and analysis: Bieler R., Kabat A. R. (1991) Malacological Journals and Newsletter, 1773-1990, The Nautilus, 105(2):39-61, April 1991

For this online version, we have added various new titles and several previously overlooked publications that have come to our attention, as well as supplemental or corrected information on serials listed in the 1991 publication. When we wrote the original article, we thought that perhaps malacology had reached (or was approaching) the saturation point in terms of the quantity of malacological serial. We were wrong - or premature at best - since the numerous new serials catalogued herein clearly demonstrate the prolific fecundity of malacological editors and societies.

In addition, our field has seen the creation of several Internet electronic bulletin boards, newsletters and listservers, some of which replacing previous paper versions. These "paperless" serials provide a medium of rapid communication but are, intentionally or not, more ephemeral than traditional serials and not tracked in this database (they are, hopefully, archived at their home institutions and organizations).

For an overview of the included journals click here:

List of Included Serials


Updates & Corrections
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Unfortunately we do not have access to every serial noted in this database.

Please inform us of additions and corrections, ideally with supporting materials (such as originals or copies of serial issues that we might have missed). Our home institutions are maintaining extensive collections of malacological journals and newsletters for public use and all contributions will be added to our formal library holdings.

Rüdiger Bieler
Department of Zoology/Invertebrates
Field Museum of Natural History
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605-2496, USA.
e-mail: bieler@fieldmuseum.org
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