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ENGL 100-101

Trade Publications

Trade publications cover news, trends, or products in an industry or professional field; they often include information about employment and careers too. They're aimed at practitioners and professionals in the field, so they will use specialized language, but they're usually easier to read than scholarly articles. If they have articles presenting research, they're usually brief, with short bibliographies, but some trade publications include scholarly articles too. Professional organizations often produce their own trade publications for their members. 


Look at this chart to compare trade publications to other kinds of periodicals.


Answer 4 short questions to check your understanding of trade publications:

Searching for Trade Publications

To identify trade publications in the field you're researching, I recommend searching for your career field along with the words trade publications or trade journals.

Google nursing trade publications

You may get an immediate list, or you might need to look through the search results. Since professional organizations often publish trade journals for their members, if you find a link to a professional organization in your search results (e.g. American Nurses Association), go to their site and look for their publications. 


You can also find relevant professional organizations by using the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Look under the More Info tab for each job.


If you're having trouble finding publications, ask a librarian for help.


If the publication(s) you find are free online, you're all set.

  • Look at the Table of Contents for a few issues.

  • Browse through issues to see what kinds of topics are newsworthy in the field.

  • Search within the publications to find articles about trends in the profession. 


If the publication is not free online, check if the library has it. Since you'll know the name of the publication, search for it using Library Search. This page on the library's FAQ explains how to see if the library has publications that aren't free online, but contact a librarian if you'd like help.

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