PUB 375: Magazine Publishing

This guide is a starting point for library research required for the PUB 375  assignment. To make an appointment for research assistance or Vividata instruction, please contact Matt Kingcroft at

Demographic and Psychographic Information


Using SimplyAnalytics you can create maps, reports, or rankings of Canadian psychographic information, using PRIZM data from Environics Analytics. Their PRIZM system classifies Canadians into one of several unique lifestyle segments, with names like "Arts & Affluence" and "Urban Digerati".

Use the PRIZM5 dataset for the most recent (2015 and later) data. To view a detailed description of a specific lifestyle segment or cluster, click the name of the cluster and select "View metadata" from the menu that pops up. Data sheets provide information on "who they are", "how they think", and "where they live".

Additional Resources for SimplyAnalytics:


Vividata is an excellent source of Canadian marketing information, based on a survey of print and digital media exposure, product usage, and lifestyles. 

Start with the online Vividata, which can be searched from off-campus. Using the Cross Table tool, you can build tables that answer questions such as:

  • Are Canadian Geographic readers more likely to care about a car’s fuel efficiency than readers of Elle Canada? 
  • Are frequent gardeners likely to be open to trying new food  products?
  • Are readers of Zoomer Magazine or Elle Canada magazine more likely to sell their house in the next 12 months?

Additional resources for understanding Vividata's information:

If you want to cite Vividata information, see the SFU Library Citation Guide for Business Sources (APA style).


Other Readership and Media Sources

Looking for an American version of Vividata? There are commercial media measurement services, such as GfK MRI and Simmons OneView,  but they are very expensive and not available locally. 

A suggested route is to find the name of a likely American journal via Ulrich's Periodicals Directory. Ulrich's can be searched by country, subject, etc. to locate competitor publications, using the "Advanced Search" screen. Once you select the title of a likely magazine, you may be able to find some basic readership information listed under the "Demographics" tab.

The Canadian Media Digest is an annual report that provides detailed information and analysis on different media, which includes some data on circulation, page rates, and magazine readership.

Otherwise, check the magazine's website for a media kit. These are sometimes located in a section called "Information for advertisers". You could also do a specific Google search for a media kit restricted to the website of the magazine, for example "media kit" or you can replace this with the homepage of the magazine you are interested in. You can also try contacting the publication directly to request a media kit.

This method will also be helpful for finding information on Canadian magazines not covered in the PMB survey.

Governmental sources

  • Statistics Canada is the premier source for Canadian Statistics. Choose the Browse by Subject option to find statistical tables and analytical publications about population, education, culture, etc. Much of the time there isn't a breakdown by age, so start with Vividata Target Snapshot first.
  • BC Stats provides the "provincial government's largest concentration of statistical products, services and expertise." Choose either the "B.C. Data Catalogue" or the "Statistics" tab at the top to browse through various categories.
  • The U.S Census Bureau can be useful if there is no equivalent Canadian information.

Non-governmental sources

Advertising information (rates, magazine descriptions, circulation)

  • CARD Online (Canadian Advertising Rates and Data). Search the 'Magazines' category, and for online magazines use the 'Digital' category. Online advertising rates are rarely available. Sometime there is information on website traffic.
  • Ulrich's Periodicals Directory sometimes includes advertising rate information and/or circulation figures under the "Demographics" tab.
  • dMAC Specifications: digital Magazine Advertising Canadian Specifications from Magazines Canada.
  • The Ad pages [print]: "Vancouver's advertising and marketing resource guide" contains print media rates and circulation, and includes local printers, suppliers, etc.
  • Association of Magazine Media (US)
  • Alliance for Audited Media (US) formerly Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC). Most of their data is only available to members, but some topline data on total circulation is available for free through their Media Intelligence Center. The site also includes some Canadian titles under the CARD classification, but more detailed data is available from our CARD Online database.
  • SRDS Consumer Media Advertising Source is available in-house at all Vancouver Public Library locations, and provides "directory information and media rates for US print, digital, magazine, and website listings."
  • Plunkett's advertising & branding industry almanac contains some publishing-related general trends and projections.

Business plans and magazine job descriptions

  • Basics of financial management : a handbook for Canadian magazines [print]
  • The Small magazine handbook series has books on advertising, management, and financial issues, all brought out by Magazines Canada
  • Business plans handbooks series has examples of real business plans from entrepreneurs in various small industries. Sample search: Publisher
  • Some useful books could be found through a keyword search in the Library catalogue for writing business plans
  • For descriptions of various magazine job titles, see Chapter 5 of The magazine : everything you need to know to make it in the magazine business [print] and Chapter 7 of Magazine Publishing [print]

Additional resources



For more titles, try a Subject search in our Library catalogue for these headings:
Periodicals -- Publishing
Magazine design
Periodicals -- Marketing

Online resources