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A publication (from the Latin publicatio ) refers to both the publication of a work (also: publication ) and the published work itself.

To the subject

  • According to Duden , publication is to be equated with published work and publishing . Publication thus means the content of a medium and / or the specific medium including its content as well as the process of making a medium publicly available . Synonymous with publication is according to Duden, the publication in terms of publication of a literary or scientific work or who or release ( english release , publication '- especially a new or revised software).
  • Other synonyms listed in the Duden are:
    • Treatise , article, essay, execution, adaptation, contribution, book, script, text, title, work; (elevated) Elaborate
    • Reprinting , issuing, printing, editing, publishing, publication; (Books) Establishment, edition
  • According to the Copyright Act (Germany) , the " publication " and the "appearance" (e.g. of a printed work) are also used as so-called specific legal terms that are of particular importance in copyright law (and here in particular in German copyright law , which uses the terms " Publication / Publish / Release "does not know).


Everything in the broadest sense u. a. A publication is intended as a message or a cultural asset for the public. Publications can be characterized by the fact that they are intended for a broad public or only for a limited target group ; they can be recorded on various media or only "announced" orally once.

The earliest forms of publication, oral tradition, were the narrative transmission of historical , social and religious information. Oral information passed on to the public was also served by pronouncements from communal or even the highest authorities. a. their bulletins , decrees and court decisions by crier not least a not literate could tell audience. A first form of orally presented advertising was used e.g. B. the barkers .

Examples of publications distributed indirectly via the media are printed matter (including books , magazines , newspapers ), sound and / or film recordings and websites . Publication creators can be individuals (e.g. self-publications , possibly in the form of self-publishers ) or companies such as a. Film production companies , recording companies (colloquially record companies ) or publishers as well as the advertising industry or authorities in the sense of state public relations work ( official announcements, etc.). Copyright information z. B. the authors and creators of a publication are u. a. to be found in the imprint in readings , in the booklets attached to sound carriers and in the credits in films . The collection and indexing of publications is carried out by archives , libraries and private collectors .

Forms of publication

The number of different forms of publication has skyrocketed since the beginning of the 20th century. Instead of oral transmission, forms of publication are publications distributed indirectly through the mass media . The media can be divided according to various criteria.

Forms of content

See u. a .: Genres in the different art forms , journalistic form of representation , public relations , advertising , scientific publication

Carrier materials

In order to distribute a publication, it must be on an information carrier or be distributed via a transmission channel (medium).

In principle, any transportable material is suitable as a carrier of information , including clay tablets , papyrus , parchment and paper for handwriting and print media and various data carriers for digital information. A common form of manuscript was papyrus scrolls in antiquity and parchment codices in late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the late Middle Ages, cheaper paper began its triumphant advance; In the middle of the 15th century, the elaborate handwritten individual production was replaced with the invention of the printing press .

For the non-physical transmission of signals ( broadcasting ), electromagnetic waves are usually used, e.g. B. also via the Internet (Pay TV, digital video recorder, Internet radio / TV, digital television ) - a simpler, but also more limited option are acoustic ( speech ) and optical signals ( e.g. smoke signals ).

The archiving and communication of information published assume since the ancient libraries .

Print media

Print media are paper-based printed products (in contrast to handwriting).

Examples of print media:

A special form of print media is printing for the blind (publications in Braille ).

Nonprint media: Publications on carrier media other than paper, for example electronic data carriers, in which the information is recorded in a wide variety of ways (mechanical, electromagnetic, photochemical) on a carrier medium, are distinguished as nonprint media .

Audiovisual media

Under Audiovisual one summarizes image and sound media together on digital and analog media earlier.

Sound carrier
Film media

Other forms ( S-VHS , Laserdisc , VCD , SVCD ) play a role as a medium for the commercial distribution of films practically only in Asia and are gradually being supplanted by the DVD.


Microform is the generic term for analog images of printed originals reduced to film material. The most important microforms are microfiche (micro- plan film) and microfilm (micro-roll film). The most common are A6 microfiche and 35 millimeter microfilms. Microforms are mainly used for archiving .

Electronic publications

Electronic publications are characterized by the fact that they are available in digital form and that a computer is requiredto use them. One distinguishes

Electronic publications are particularly suitable for reference books , learning programs , electronic magazines, and computer games and software . The replacement of print media by e-books , as predicted by some, has not yet occurred.

Electronic publications differ from other forms of publication, among other things, in that they are functionally ( interactivity ) and temporally ( updates ) more dynamic, which makes archiving difficult.

Media combinations

Possible combinations include a .: book / CD-ROM, book / audio cassette, audio CD / booklet ...

Other forms


The essence of a publication is usually its content that is published several times at the same time via one or more media.

  • Conversations and / or messages via the most common means of communication such as the telephone or chat are not referred to as publications because they are mostly only used for direct communication and are therefore not publicly accessible and (mostly) are not stored.
  • Works of art as unique pieces of fine art or such. B. Small editions of graphics are not referred to as publications in common usage, although they are made available to the public.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Publication  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. publicatio. In: Navigium Online Latin Dictionary. Retrieved May 8, 2017 .
  2. a b Duden : Publication , online at
  3. ^ Duden: Publication , online at
  4. ^ Duden: Release , online at
  5. Full text of the Law on Copyright and Related Rights ( UrhG ).