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ENG3050 Trimble

Finding Professional Literature

Trade Publications: Articles written by professionals for professionals

trade publicationsMany professional organizations publish both scholarly journals (which publish research) and trade journals. Trade journals are a way that professionals write and share information about best practice, trends in the profession, current topics, advertising aimed at that particular profession or industry, and career opportunities. Methods of publishing might include printed magazines, online magazines, online newsletters, blogs, and even social media.

Trade journals may be peer-reviewed, or may contain articles by paid writers and peer-reviewed content, or in large organizations, the content may be created by contracted organization staff. These are all legitimate and credible methods of publishing in this genre.

Trade journals may be biased toward the profession. For example, a trade organization like the American Wind Energy Association's Into the Wind blog newsletter is going to produce articles that are supportive of wind power.

What does a Trade Publications look like?

Here are some examples of trade publications. Just click on the cover to see the publication and its content.

The Society of Engineers (SAE) publishes 6 trade journals. You can access the content through their website. ACSM Blog is an online trade publication from the Association of Supply Chain Management. CRM Management is a trade publication published by the commercial publisher Information Today, Inc. It can only be accessed by subscribers or through the library database, Business Source Complete.

Finding Articles in Trade Publications

Finding articles in trade publications can be tricky. Sometimes they are only available online, sometimes only to professional association members, or you may only be able to access them through a library database, because access is limited to association members and subscribers.

Try this: Do a Google Search for professional association (your industry or profession). 

For example: professional association human resource management

When you select a professional association from your search results, look on the website for a link that says publications or resources. You should see the trade publications and news resources published by that association.

Try this: Search the library database Business Source Complete. (Find it under Article Databases on the library homepage)

Search your topic, then on your search results, select Trade Publications under Source Types on the left side of your screen.

Try this: Using Summon on the library homepage (it searches all library full-text articles, books, ebooks and more). 

Search your topic, then on your search results, select Magazines and Trade Publication Articles under Content Type . You may need to select More to see all of your options.