Date of publication


This is a proposed new standard glossary term. See this post for background on this review track. To comment on the term below either click the blue “Reply” button at the bottom or select a passage of text in the term and click the “Quote” pop-up to create a comment about that section only.

Short Definition: Date the work is made available to the public by a publisher.

Extended Definition: Date the work is made available to the public by a publisher including by means of an electronic retrieval system. The earliest date that the final version-of-record is made available on the publisher’s website. This generally means that the “early online” date, rather than the print publication date, should be taken as the date of publication. Some works (usually books) have a publication date that may precede the availability online as the print edition is available before online availability. Publication does not include exhibition of the work; issue to the public of copies of the work included in another work; communication of the work to the public. These provisos relate mainly to non-text works. Publication date can be presented as the date on the publisher’s issue e.g. the date of the volume and issue as if the work were published in print.



Related Terms:


Term Lead: Helen Cooper



I think there seems to be an implicit assumption here that all journals use pre publication peer review.

I wonder if this definition might need to be amended or clarified somehow to include journals like F1000Research whereby the date of first online ‘publication’ at the journal website is pre-peer review.

Perhaps rename the term to post-peer review publication date to make it more specific? Then journals like F1000Research can fit into this scheme. F1000Research articles have both a pre-peer review publication date and a post-peer review (validation?) date.



I wonder if we need to explicitly say in the extended definition that publication of an accepted version by the publisher is not considered to be ‘date of publication’? Most publishers consider these as separate dates, but some will make the AM available, then change the version to VoR and retain the same date. Perhaps we at the stage where publication of AM should be considered as the work being published? At any rate, we probably need to emphasize what this definition considers published.


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