However you research your market, your research must be up-to-date. Reference books such as ‘The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook’ are very useful but they’re often collated months before they’re published. Magazines are changing all the time so the information may not be current.
You may have a copy of a woman’s weekly that’s a year old. New slots are popping up every week while others fall by the wayside so you could target a slot that’s no longer there.
Similarly, websites featuring writers’ guidelines are sometimes several years old and requirements have changed.
Lists of fiction markets can easily be printed out from the internet, giving you an idea of which to target. Fiction is a dwindling market and many of these lists haven’t been updated for some time. Therefore, some of the publications listed no longer publish fiction or a few listed may even have folded.
You can still use all of the above as research tools but use them alongside a recent copy of the publication and e-mail the editor for current guidelines.