The question of publishing has come up in many classes recently, largely because of internet-based resources. In particular, students are finding “e-pub” journals more and more frequently: these are journal articles that have been released online before the print version of the journal has been released.
So how do you know if a resource has been published? It depends on the resource (I’ll assume this question was about online resources, not print ones):
- Books: honestly, look for a publisher’s name. Even e-books will have this information (yes, even on Google Books). I’ve included links to Google Books and our Shared Library Catalogue so you can try to find the publisher’s information.
- Journal articles: If you can find the volume, issue and page numbers for a journal article, it’s been published. E-pubs, or journal articles released ahead of the print version, usually don’t have this information.
- Websites: are not published. Neither are the PDFs and other documents you find on websites.
See “How to cite E-pubs” for more information on using unpublished journal articles.