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So you've just created a Community—now what?

Published onMar 08, 2021
So you've just created a Community—now what?
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Hello! Thank you for your interest in starting a PubPub Community. PubPub is an open source publishing platform for open access content. Anyone or group of people can create a community, or publishing space, on PubPub at any time and at no cost.1 A PubPub community is open to your own definition; it can serve as a space to publish a monograph, a journal with one or multiple issues, research notes, reports, local neighborhood guides, your family’s favorite recipes—it’s up to you!

This article is intended to walk you through the initial steps of establishing your homepage and site-wide settings after you have created a community. If you need help or have questions or ideas, please email help@pubpub.org.



Setting the Settings

Upon the creation of your community, you’ll find yourself on a homepage with some instructional copy and your community title. From here, click on “Dashboard” at the top right of your screen. A small dropdown will appear that includes the name of your community. Click on your community name.

This will take you to a dashboard, from which you can set your higher-level community-wide settings, as well as create new pages.


On the left hand sidebar, there are five options:

  • Overview shows you collections, pubs, discussions, and reviews. You can search for a Pub (our word for what you might call a chapter, article, report, etc. based on what you’re publishing. As a brand new community with no content, this list won’t be relevant just yet.) in the bar marked “Filter Pubs & Collections.” You can scroll to see a complete list of Pubs, including discussions and reviews. You can create a Pub by using the button at the upper right. Collections is where you can add tags to content to better organize it on your site. Some collection tags, like books or journals, also have associated metadata. Collections will be more relevant later on when you have content in your community.

  • Pages shows a list of all pages within the community. Pages are for static content (like an about page) and displaying your Pubs (like an issue page). From this view, you can edit, access, and see the visibility status of all your pages.

  • Reviews are the way that authors (or anyone) who doesn’t have permission to publish directly to the community can add their content. They could be submissions, peer reviews, or more. Other community members can then discuss the reviews and decide whether to publish them.

  • Members is where you can add members for your site. This list is determined by you and those who need to be involved in your project.(Members will need to create these accounts before you can add them using their name.)

Each member can have specific permissions as to what they can view, edit, and manage. Admins have wider permissions across the community.

  • Settings will take you to your site’s master list of… settings!

Navigate to Settings.

Settings is where you can determine site-wide options, such as accent colors, your navigation bar, footer, and logo(s). It is also where you establish your homepage banner.

For freely-usable, high-quality images, we recommend Unsplash.com. Please credit photo authors when using their work.

The favicon image is used on the browser tab. The preview image is for social sharing cards.

If you do not want visitors to your community to be able to create their own pubs, please toggle off “Public New Pub Button.”

You have the option to show a navigation bar or not. If you’d like one, you can add and organize internal pages and links to external ones here. Please note: you must first create pages to organize them here on the navigation bar.

You have the option of showing a homepage banner or not. If you’d like one (most communities have a banner), this is where you can design it. We recommend playing around with all of the banner options and using the preview tool below them to see what they look like in practice.

There are countless combinations of ways you can design your banner. One feature, for instance, is the ability to include up to two buttons in your banner. Some OA books use this, for instance, to link to buying options for readers who are interested in purchasing a print copy. Others use it for a newsletter. Some do both!

Use the banner background option for an image that will fill up the header of your Community. The Knowledge Futures Group Notes community implements a banner background with centered text.

Use the banner image option for an image that will appear to the right of your banner. The book, Smart Enough City, implements this nicely.

Use the banner logo option for an image that will appear to the left of your banner. Goldsmiths Press implements this option well.

Social is where you can add links to any additional websites, social spaces, or ways to contact you. They are all optional.

Footer is where you can manage the content on the bottom of your community, from a logo or image to additional links.


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