Setting up a Publication: Issues, Volumes and Posts

Posts Publications are a way to showcase periodic content on your website. Many schools print glossy magazines at regular intervals during the year; you can think of Posts Publications as a similar treatment for your online communications.

A publication consists of a group of posts that are linked together with a common visual style, and released on a common schedule.

Posts Publications use an organizing principle that's familiar to print publishers: Every Publication is divided into "Volumes," each of which contains a series of "Issues."

A Volume often spans a full year - usually an academic year or calendar year, but it could be  any span of time. Within that timeframe, the Publication releases a number of Issues. At the end of the specified period, the process starts over with a new volume number and a new series of issues.

Creating a New Publication

Each Posts Publication is a contract item, so first you’ll want to talk to your Client Success Manager to purchase one or more Publications. After you do that, the “Publications” section will be activated in the Posts module, and you’ll be able to create a new Publication using the green “+ New Publication” button.

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When you first create a Publication in the module, you’ll give it a name and set a publication schedule to establish when new Issues will come out.

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For example, “Every first Monday in Jan, Apr, Jul and Oct at 12:00pm” would result in a quarterly Publication that comes out four times a year. The schedule you create here will be used to automatically create individual issues for this Publication.

The publication date of an individual issue can be edited in the Issue Settings, in the case that it needs to change from the default.

Creating Volumes

After establishing a Publication and its schedule, you’ll create one or more Volumes within it. A Volume typically covers a year's worth of the Publication's issues.

To create a Volume, hover over the three-dot Action Menu next to a Publication that you’ve created and select “+ Volume.”

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The "New Volume" settings window will appear. Because Volumes cover a set timeframe, they have their own Start Date and End Date that need to be configured.

Volumes are numbered using the “Index” value. You can choose to display the Volume number along with the Issue number on a Publications page.

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You may want to establish more than one Volume initially so that you have an underlying structure to build from in the future.

The schedule that you established when you first created the publication will automatically generate one or more Issues within each volume you set up.

You can always create additional issues within a Volume beyond the defaults by clicking the three-dot Action Menu on the Volume and selecting “+ Add Issue.”

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The trickiest part of this step is to determine the publication dates of all of the individual issues that comprise a volume. We suggest you have a calendar handy when you're setting up issues! 

Issues can be customized with an Issue Number, a Subtitle, a thumbnail image, and a description.

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Issues have a Start Date & Time and a Publish Date & Time. If you create issues manually (rather than using only the automatically generated issues), the trickiest part of creating them is determining the publication dates of all of the individual Issues that comprise a Volume. We suggest you have a calendar handy if you're setting up Issues this way!

The “Start Date & Time” determines the time frame that this issue will cover - each issue is active from its own Start Date & Time until the Start Date & Time of the next issue. This active period, in turn, determines which content from the Posts module can appear in the issue. Only those Posts whose start date falls within that time frame are eligible to be included in that issue.

The “Publish Date & Time” reflects when this Issue will appear live on the website. This value is automatically set for each issue when they’re generated based on the publication schedule. If those publication dates fall on a holiday, for example, or need to be adjusted for any other reason, you can enter in a new value for the Publish Date & Time.

Note: The Start Date & Time and the Publish Date & Time cannot be the same day. The Publish Date & Time should always be after the Start Date & Time.

The Issue’s Start Date determines which posts can appear in that Issue; the next step is selecting which of those posts will actually comprise the issue. This is controlled by settings of the post element(s) on the Publication page, just like any other posts element on your site.

Adding posts to an Issue

So far we've done a lot of setup, creating the Publication and its basic structure. Now it's time to add content to the framework we've constructed.

For a given post to appear in an Issue of a Publication, we already know that the post's Start Date must fall after the start date of the Issue it's to appear in. (The post's start date must also land before the start date of the Publication's next issue!)

Beyond that, it's a matter of ensuring that the post belongs to the right board and/or has the right tags to appear in the Publication.

On the website, the Publication will be defined by the Composer "Issue" element. Adding this element to a page activates the various Publications features that turn a collection of posts into an Issue of a Publication. For more details, see the Knowledge Base article Creating a Publications Page.

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