A supplement is a publication that has a role secondary to that of another preceding or concurrent publication.
A follow-on publication complements its predecessor, either by bringing it up to date (e.g. the Index Catalogue), or by otherwise enhancing the predecessor's coverage of a particular topic or subject matter, as in the Tosefta. Supplements are particularly used in gaming hobbies.
A newspaper supplement, often a weekly section of its parent, usually has a tabloid or Sunday magazine format and covers wide-ranging and less time-critical subjects, as in The American Weekly, the 2004 version of Life, and Parade. Newspaper supplements became common in France and Germany in the mid to late 19th century—they were called feuilleton in French. In Chinese, they are called fukan. In Hebrew, they are called "musaf".
Advertising supplements periodically accompany corresponding newspapers and are prepared by the paper's advertising staff instead of its editorial staff. It is common for them to cover topics such as real estate and automobiles on behalf of the paper's frequent advertisers.
Supplements found on some DVDs, HD DVDs, and Blu-ray Discs are more commonly known as special features, bonus features, or bonus material.
In education, supplemental materials are educational materials designed to accompany or expand on the information presented on course textbooks. These can include printed materials, CDs, websites, or other electronic materials.
In academic publishing, some journals publish supplements, which often either cover an industry-funded conference or are "symposia" on a given topic. These supplements are often subsidized by an external sponsor. Such supplements can have guest editors, are often not peer-reviewed to the same standard as the journal itself, and are more likely to use promotional language. Many journals do not publish sponsored supplements. Small-circulation journals are more likely to publish supplements than large, high-prestige journals. Such supplements create conflicts of interest in academic publishing.
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