A broad process or system that involves, at minimum, scholarship and writing, certification (most commonly via peer review), registration (commonly formal publishing in a journal or some other version of record), dissemination (awareness, making accessible, distribution), and archiving.
The generic dictionary definition of the word “publish” simply means to make work publicly available. In this context, uploading something onto the Web would be considered publishing. From a publisher’s perspective, publishing refers to the action or business of preparing and issuing books, newspapers, etc., for public sale or distribution. The act of making something publicly available is also referred to as dissemination.
Source: Oxford English Dictionary Online (2014)