Date of publication

Date the work is made available to the public by a publisher.

Date the work is made available to the public by a publisher including by means of an electronic retrieval system. The earliest date that the final version-of-record is made available on the publisher’s website. This generally means that the “early online” date, rather than the print publication date, should be taken as the date of publication. Some works (usually books) have a publication date that may precede the availability online as the print edition is available before online availability. Publication does not include exhibition of the work; issue to the public of copies of the work included in another work; communication of the work to the public. These provisos relate mainly to non-text works. Publication date can be presented as the date on the publisher’s issue e.g. the date of the volume and issue as if the work were published in print.

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Sources: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/year/2016/201635/