I am trying to use/find the correct term for the practice of publishing research results in academia, mainly a reference to the practice of publishing research findings in a formal journal or conference.

The term has to have a clear contrast to the practice of publishing full data-sets of research results (ex: in a repository), but which is also a sub-form of "publishing of research results"

I have started my work by using the term "Scholarly Communication" which was somehow influenced by one of my mentors. Although I was happy on the initial suggestion, I am finding myself not so keen on the use of it, as it seems cheaper in contrast to for example: Academic Publishing which seems broader to include more research ventures (done also by non-scholars, but still viable for academic recognition).

The problems with the term Academic Publishing are two for my perspective. 1) I have not been able to find a strong definition of it, and 2) it is so broad that can include the "publishing of research data-sets" which I need to reference separately.

Would appreciate a discussion for a creative term which coins the academic publishing as it has been referenced traditionally?

Update 1: Considering also Academic Literature referenced in a comment below by darthbith

  • 2
    You could just be specific and say journal and conference publications
    – nivag
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 12:20
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    I have used the phrase "archival literature" to refer to journal publications; conference publications in my field typically aren't considered "permanent" and are typically not accessible to people that don't attend the conference. However, depending on your field, "archival literature" may specify both journals and conferences...
    – darthbith
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 12:23
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    Would this be a better fit on the English Language and Usage Stack Exchange?
    – aeismail
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 12:39
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    This seems unanswerable as it asks the putative answerer to engage in telepathy. What do you mean by "academic publications"?
    – 410 gone
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 15:21
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    "For purposes of this study, we define a frog to be any publication of research findings that has underdone stringent peer-review." (Or whatever your definition is.) From that point on, the proper term is "frog". However, I recommend using "research publication" instead of "frog".
    – JeffE
    Commented May 2, 2014 at 15:23

2 Answers 2


I suggest "(modifier) dissemination" with (modifier) used to make things more specific. Usually I find the phrase "dissemination of (noun)", and it often refers to a formal release of information, where some semblance of validation of (noun) has occurred. You might find "result dissemination", "data dissemination", "report dissemination" useful. Of course, I'm already getting tired of seeing the word "dissemination" used many times in the same paragraph. I also suggest some synonyms to alleviate developing madness in the reader.


If a thing is publicly available, it is literally published, nevermind paywalls. It would be an unhelpful abuse of language to have "publication" mean exclusively "publication in a traditional, recognized, peer-refereed, journal". I propose (only partly facetiously) referring to the latter as "gatekeeper publications". :)

Srsly, there is an issue here. If the NSF or NIH require that we make our research public, but we can't get it through the gatekeepers, then what?

So, if you want to refer to publication in peer-reviewed journals, say "peer-reviewed journal publication". This might be in contrast to "internet publication". Adjectives.

  • I absolutely agree with your note. Actually I was trying to differentiate between two forms of publishing, the research report in the form of a scientific paper vs research data-sets (which are actually needed to support a research paper)
    – Armand
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 7:32
  • A data set is probably the sort of thing that should just go on your web page, or in an archive. Should be made publicly available, but since it doesn't make sense to "peer review" the data itself, you won't "get credit" in that sense. Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 16:10

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