Adding a journal issue

When adding entire issues of a journal, there are three different cases to consider:

Special issues of a journal

Special issues, like edited books, consist solely of contributions pertaining to a particular subject. If this characteristic is met, you should add the issue as a Special Issue. Additional characteristics of special issues may include the following:

None of these characteristics are obligatory - all, some, or none of them may apply to a particular special issue. If the main identifying characteristic of a special issue is met (issue contains only articles relating to its title topic), you should use the reference type Special Issue.

However, like edited books, a special issue or supplement is not normally cited directly as a whole. It is customary to cite the specific contribution in the special issue, including the author of the contribution and the page numbers. For this information, use the Contribution reference type.

Single issue of a journal

A normal issue of a periodical should not be added as an individual reference in Citavi.

Some issues of a periodical appear to be special issues, but in fact are normal issues which simply have one topic highlighted on the cover. These issues typically follow the regular pagination of the journal and do not have a special editor. They also often include some articles, columns or reviews that are unrelated to the cover topic. Treat these as ordinary journals and add the contributions using the regular Journal article reference type.

Gray areas

Some popular magazines publish issues dedicated to specific topics. Generally, these are unsuitable for use in scholarly works because they are not peer-reviewed. For this reason, there is no reference type in Citavi intended for these references.

In general, such a special issue should be entered as an edited book. However, that does not always make sense in these borderline cases. Often there is no publisher listed, and the volume and issue numbers are not easy to record in Edited Book template. Blank fields should not be used for this purpose, since citation styles cannot work with these fields (unless you write your own citation style). Volume and issue information must therefore be entered in the Volume field, which can be read by the citation styles and formatted for bibliographies. In order to indicate that such a special issue is involved, it is best to make a note in the Subtitle field: (Special Issue).

If you are working with a citation style that does not include subtitles, this can also go in the Title field.


In Citavi it's not possible to automatically add information for a special issue using the ISSN. If you want to add the ISSN, you can do so by clicking the journal name and then clicking Edit.