Here is a great example of a WordPress publication that features regular issues and also publishes a blog for in between news:

The Field Educator

simmons
Home/current issue page

What’s it about?  It is published by the Simmons School Social Work and according the about page:

The Field Educator was created to promote communication and knowledge exchange among field educators in academia and in the practice community.

Launched in the Fall of 2011, Simmons has the distinct pleasure of being the 1st publication ever to use the then new IssueM plugin (previous issues in WordPress were hard coded into the sites theme files).

The home page (or Current Issue page) groups articles by category. The blog is run in the sidebar and there is an advanced search page (that uses the Advanced Issue Search plugin) for combing through the issues.

past issues
Past issues page

Anyone can subscribe via email and the open publication attracts visitors from Google search.

How do you build something like this?

Today it’s easy. Download the IssueM plugin which adds the custom post type “Articles” that are assembled into issues. You will need to dive into the CSS and style it as you need. Or… hire a WordPress developer that is good at CSS and you will be surprised how quickly you can build a beautiful issue based web publication.

advanced search
Advanced search page

What do you think?