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Core Concepts

The basic concepts you'll need to know to publish content of any type on PubPub
Published onDec 22, 2021
Core Concepts


A Community is the top-level unit of PubPub. Communities can represent a single book, a collection of books, a journal, a blog, a preprint server, a repository, or any other kind of content. You can invite Members to help you manage your community with varying levels of permissions, or to manage individual sections of a community.


A Collection is the unit used to organize content. Collections can be used as simple tags, or they can be created to organize books, journal issues, or conference proceedings. All four collection types function the same, but books, journal issues, and conference proceedings allow you to add specific metadata, such as ISSN or ISBN, that allow them to be better cited, crawled, and archived by academic interfaces.


A Pub is the main content unit of PubPub. They can be journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, blog posts, supplementary material, or just about anything else you want. At their core, Pubs are real-time, collaborative document editors with inline discussion capability, much like Google Docs or Microsoft Office online. Unlike most office suites, however, Pubs are designed for web-first publishing. As a result, Pubs have no concept of pages, and they support interactive content like audio, video, code, and iFrame embeds. Pubs also have first-class support for academic-specific features like abstracts, authors and contributors, citations, footnotes, figure numbers, and LaTeX math.


A Member is someone who has permission to manage a part of your Community. Members can be given different permission levels, from view-only to full admin access. They can be added to Communities, Collections or Pubs, allowing you to give specific people permissions to work on the entire Community, or just specific parts of it.

Layouts & Pages

Layouts and Pages are the units used to display content. At their core, they are a block editor that allows you to compose and customize the way your content is displayed by adding lists of Pages or Pubs, rich text, banners and buttons, or arbitrary HTML. Both Layouts and Pages function the same way, with one core difference: Layouts are attached to Collections, and used to display only Pubs within Collections. Pages live separately from Collections, and can be used to display Pubs from multiple Collections, or views that contain no Pubs at all (like about sections or mission statements).


Dashboards are where you manage Communities, Collections, Layouts, Pages, and Pubs. Each of these types of content has a Dashboard view where you can see useful information, search and organize content, make changes to settings, and view impact metrics. To visit the Dashboard view, click on the Dashboard drop-down on the top right while viewing a piece of content.

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