Document Type

Book Chapter


Transmission of intellectual works from their producers to consume Intellectual works can be disseminated in various ways. In nonliterate societies, the only means by which constructs of words and ideas can be disseminated is recitation, either by itself or coupled with performance. With the advent of writing, these constructs can be recorded and disseminated in physical form. Publication, involving the reproduction of recorded works in multiple copies and the distribution of these copies to consumers, becomes in literate societies a major mode of the dissemination of knowledge.The publisher has three basic functions in this process: he decides, by assessing both the needs of consumers and the works which have been produced, what he will publish; he controls and supervises the reproduction of these works; and he starts the copies off through some system of distribution.' In performing these functions the publisher influences the production, as well as the consumption, of knowledge. This article examines the publisher's role at each of the five stages of dissemination: production, assessment, reproduction, distribution, and consumption.


Library and Information Science


This article is the publisher's PDF version, previously appearing published as “Role of the Publisher in the Dissemination of Knowledge,” in Perspectives on Publishing, ed. Philip G. Altbach and Sheila McVey (Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1976), pp. 47-57.