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What is a "pub"? And other good questions

Some basic notes on how PubPub works and why
Published onMar 13, 2021
What is a "pub"? And other good questions

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Core Concepts

The basic concepts you'll need to know to publish content of any type on PubPub

What is PubPub? Why does it exist?

PubPub is an open-source platform for open access publishing of all kinds. It is a product of the Knowledge Futures Group, a non-profit building open infrastructure that serves the public good. From its beginnings as an in-house research-sharing platform at the MIT Media Lab, PubPub has developed based on the feedback of those who use it most and continues to be community-led. PubPub gives communities of all stripes and sizes a simple, affordable, and non-profit alternative to existing publishing models and tools.

The PubPub roadmap is published for anyone to see, as is our codebase.

Dictionary of terms

  • Community: PubPub comprises many independent publishing communities. A community is the space you create and control for yourself and any collaborators. We choose the general word “community” to refer to these spaces so that community administrators can more specifically define what their community is for themselves. For some, their PubPub community will be a journal, for others a collection of books, while others will create communities for conferences or research notes.

  • Page: a page on PubPub is a container of content. As such, it can both communicate information itself while often serving as entry point to other content within and outside of PubPub. Pages are designed by Community Admins using a series of different content block types.1

  • Pub: a Pub is the most specific unit of content on PubPub. We’ve made up the word “Pub” because, much like with Communities, the definition and function of a Pub can change drastically from Community to Community. For example, a single Pub in one community can function as a book chapter (like here), while a pub in another can serve as a journal article (like here), and in a third Community a Pub may contain the video of a webinar (like here). Pubs as a unit of content are yours to create and share based on the goals and nature of your Community.

  • Community: a group that publishes on PubPub, along with its authors and commenters.

  • Collection: a group of pubs within a community. The parameters of a collection can be defined by each PubPub community, from a more traditional journal issue to an evolving collection of pubs on a subject.

  • Admin: individual or individuals who manage a PubPub community. Admins can assume different roles and levels of access within a community.

  • Collaborator: someone who contributes to the publication of a pub through many possible roles, such as brainstorming, editing, co-authoring, fact checking, project managing, and reviewing. These roles can be created and assigned for each Pub to credit collaborators based on the CRediT Taxonomy.

What are some characteristics that make PubPub unique?

  • Collaborative editing

    Edit documents alone or in real-time with your team. Or, open your document to the public for large-scale collaboration, reading, and annotation of drafts (including in classrooms).

  • Rich media documents

    Embed videos, LaTeX equations, references, interactive frames, and more.

  • Context

    PubPub allows you connect your content to other content on the internet and to name the connection type (review, comment, preprint, translation, etc), providing greater context around your work. Whats more, these connection types are deposited to Crossref when you mint a DOI.

  • DOI minting

    PubPub provides up to 10 free DOIs per year and then charges $1/DOI after that. You can deposit them directly through PubPub, or work with us to use your own prefix.

  • Credit

    The option to credit collaborators at every level ensures contributions throughout the publishing process are not forgotten. The ability to control access and privacy at each stage of the publishing process offers control and flexibility that suits many different types of publishing groups and helps add a level of transparency to your process.

  • Dedication to longevity

    We're focused on long-term stable solutions for authors, reviewers, and publishers. We care about business models that are good for research, rather than good for advertisers or investors.

  • Open source

    We operate in the open and all of our code is available. You can add a new feature yourself or fork the codebase entirely and host the platform independently.

Who is PubPub for?

Anyone who is interested in creating a community to publish open access content can begin a community on PubPub.

How can I get in touch with the PubPub Team?

We love hearing from our users and potential partners! There are a few ways to communicate with us:

  • The PubPub Forum: a place to get help and connect with other members of the community.

  • Email: shoot an email to [email protected] with questions and one of us will reply. Magical!

  • Github: you can submit issues, bugs, enhancement requests, and ideas on Github.

How do I keep up with news about PubPub?

  • Newsletter: Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! We won’t email you constantly or share your contact information. But we do let you know about new, creative things people are doing on the platform, updates and additions to our features, and a bit about what we’re reading and thinking about. Our Newsletters can also be found here.

  • Twitter: we’re on Twitter! If you are too, give us a follow. We tweet to amplify the announcements and publications of the communities on PubPub, to let our followers know about platform updates, and to make connections between our work and the broader open knowledge and scholcomm space.

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Another Supplement to Core Concepts
Max Mahmoud Wardeh:

Should there be a link here?

Max Mahmoud Wardeh:

Should there be a link here?