In publication (from Latin publicus, ' public ' or publicatio ( f ), the publication ') is understood according to Duden:

In contrast to " publication " and the other two above-mentioned terms are the terms often used interchangeably in common parlance to this "publication" and " appearance " so-called certain legal concepts which are especially relevant in copyright ( and in particular in the German copyright law, which the terms " publication / publishing / release " does not know ).


Everything is meant in the broadest sense, inter alia, as a message or cultural object for a public that is published.

The earliest forms of publication were with the oral tradition, the narrative disclosure of historical, social and religious information. Another form of an oral dissemination of information for public pronouncements were municipal or highest instances that their bulletins, decrees and court rulings by crier could tell a largely not yet literate audience and others. One of the first oral form of carried forward Advertise served, for example, the Barker.

Examples of indirectly via Media Spread publications are books, magazines, newspapers, as well as media for sound or / and film footage or a web presence and their websites. Publications can be characterized in that they are intended for a general public or only for a limited target group. Publications are held at various carrier media. Publications are produced, inter alia, by publishers, rare individuals (a form which is called self-published ). Publisher and editor can be seen from the imprint. The collection and development of publications is the responsibility of libraries and archives. Where these could not afford or are not allowed, there are often private collectors. In addition to publishing also create inter alia, the music and film industry, the advertising industry or authorities referred to a government public relations (Notices etc. ) publications.

Forms of publication

The number of different forms of publication, that is, instead of an oral tradition, developing various kinds of indirect spread by mass media publications has increased by leaps and bounds since the early 20th century. The media can be divided in different ways by different criteria.

Substantive forms

See, inter alia: Genres, Journalistic form of representation, public relations, advertising, Scientific Publication

Support materials

On the distribution of a publication, it must be on an information carrier or via a transmission channel ( media) are common.

As a carrier of information principle any transportable material, including clay tablets, papyrus, parchment and paper manuscripts and print media and various media for digital information. A common form of manuscripts were papyrus scrolls in ancient times and parchment codices in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the late Middle Ages, the cheaper paper began its triumphal march; in the middle of the 15th century the elaborate hand- written individual production was replaced with the invention of printing.

For non-physical transmission of signals (radio ) usually electromagnetic waves are used - a simpler, but also more limited way represent acoustic (speech) and optical signals ( for example, smoke signals) dar.

The archiving and communication of information published accept since ancient libraries.

Print media

Print media is paper-based printed materials (as opposed to manuscripts ).

Examples of print media:

  • Book, newspaper, magazine
  • Maps ( maps, city maps, ordnance survey )
  • Leaflet, poster (not always as publication)

A special form of print media are blind Prints ( publications in Braille ).

Non-print media: publications on other carrier media other than paper, such as electronic media where the information ( mechanical, electromagnetic, photo-chemically ) held on different ways on a carrier medium are deferred as a non-print media of it.


Under Audiovisual we group together image and sound media on analog and digital storage media increasingly.

  • Sound recordings ( vinyl record, music cassette, compact disc, compact cassette, MiniDisc )
  • Audiobooks,
  • Digital Audio Tapes (DAT and DCC) could not prevail, and found almost exclusively in the professional field use.
Film Media
  • Movie
  • 16- millimeter film ( in media centers / image locations, for teaching purposes )
  • VHS, DVD
  • CD -i
  • Blu- ray Disc
  • HD DVD
  • VMD

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

Microform is the generic term for reduced on film analog images of printed materials. The main microforms are Microform ( microfiche ) and microfilm ( micro- roll film ). Most common are DIN A6 microfiche and 35 -millimeter microfilm. Microforms are mainly used for archiving.

Electronic publications

Electronic publications are characterized in that they are in digital form and to their use, a computer is needed. A distinction

  • Offline publications on different storage media (floppy, CD -ROM, DVD)
  • Online publications that are distributed over the Internet or over an intranet (eg, web pages).

Electronic publications are suitable mainly for reference, tutorials, electronic journals and computer games and software. The prophesied by some replacement of the print media through e-books has not yet occurred.

Electronic publications differ from other forms of publication including by both functional ( interactivity ) and temporal ( updates) higher dynamics of what makes their archiving difficult.

Media combinations

Combination book / CD-ROM, book / audio cassette, Audio-CD/Booklet ...

Other forms

  • Cross -media publishing - cross-media publishing
  • Corporate Publishing - proprietary publications such as customer magazine, company magazine, magazine for members or business TV


The most common means of communication such as the telephone or chat not be called publication, since they used only for direct communication, are not publicly available and not be arrested. Works of art as unique pieces or in small print runs are usually not regarded as a publication. The essence of a publication is usually their content and not the individual item. Broadcasting is no publication, but a transmission medium. Convergence with Internet (pay-TV, digital video recorder, Internet-Radio/TV, Digital TV ).

Related Topics

  • Publication
  • Storage medium
  • Mass media are mostly one-way communication means to achieve many receivers
  • Multimedia
  • Means of communication, information
  • Media use, online first
  • Media Studies
  • Scientific Publication
  • Edition (output)
  • Radio and television