Internet as distribution versus publication

A quick note about a problem that has emerged again in my students’ essays. I encourage students to search the massive online journal databases to find material for their essays. Other students have also figured out that books can be read through Google Books and even A minor problem that I am seeing is that students are treating these sources as online publications. From my perspective, they are not online publications. M/C Journal is an online publication while The British Journal of Criminology, for example, while it may appear online through the journal databases, is not an online publication. TBJoC is a print publication distributed online as a PDF (and potentially via one’s printer). On the other hand, online news sources are a good example of the sort of confusion that emerges. Media institutions like the ABC has its own online news stream and newspaper publish articles online, and these should be treated as online publications.