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The Publication Date module adds a "Published on" date to each node,
containing the date when it was first published.

Without this, the only dates available for nodes are their created date and
changed date, but these are often insufficient to meet the needs of publishing
workflows. Sorting nodes by their created date doesn't account for content
which is held in draft form for a time while being readied for publication.
Sorting nodes by their changed date fails to account for content needing minor
corrections after being published.

The "Published on" date can be used in any templates, or views. Publication date
also incudes integration with the Display Suite module and has entity wrapper
support, so it can integrate with modules like Rules that use the Entity API

By default, the "Published on" date is set automatically when a node is first
published, but it can also be edited through the node edit form, allowing a
custom published date to be set. This is useful when backdating migrated content
from an older site. The module provides permissions for restricting this field,
per content type. If a custom date is set prior to publication, it will be
respected when the node is published. The publication date is also retained when
a node is unpublished and then republished.

The module will add a new $node->published_at field to nodes, containing the
published date, or 'false' if no published date has been set. You can then use
this field in any templates. Moreover, this field is available in the views

IMPORTANT: For nodes that were published BEFORE the installation of this
module, we can not know the exact date of publication, so $node->published_at
will initially contain the creation date.

Installation and setup

  1. Install this module using the official Backdrop CMS instructions at
  2. If you want to give users access to edit the "Published on" date, then go
    to /admin/config/people/permissions and set permissions as desired.
  3. Configure module settings at admin/config/content/publication-date:
    Administration > Configuration > Content authoring > Publication date


Other modules can use hook_publication_date_alter() to change the publication
date when it is set. See publication_date.api.php for more documentation.


Bugs and Feature requests should be reported in the Issue Queue:

Current Maintainer

Attila Vasas (



Publication Date module screenshot