Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Research 101 (older version): Professional and Trade Journal articles

I Am Looking for Professional / Trade Journal Articles

What is a trade publication?

A trade publication (sometimes called a professional journal) is a magazine written for people who work in a particular profession (teachers, architects, engineers, nurses, etc.). They often (but not always) have the name of the profession in their title. 


How hard are trade publications to read? What are they good for? 

Since trade publication articles are written for people in a profession, they assume some specialized knowledge. However, they are usually not as difficult, specific, or long as peer-reviewed articles (also called "scholarly articles") in academic journals.

The articles are often meant to let readers know, in ordinary language, how something important (a theory, invention, trend, or law, for instance) will affect them as members of their profession. 


How do I find a trade publication article?

First, find a database that is relevant to the field you're interested in by going to the front page of the library website.

how to get to databases


To view databases by subject: 

open subject list of databases

open list of databases by subject


Choose a subject, and then choose a database. For example: 


example of database listings by subject - allied health


Within each database, there will be source type filters. They may look like this:


full screen of database search results with filters


-- or they may look like this, or they may look like something else - the important thing is to look for how you can filter by resource type.


gale database full screen with filters


PLEASE NOTE: If the results for your search don't include articles from trade publications, that category won't appear in the list of source types.

Also, some databases do not have a "trade publication" filter - but their "magazine" filter includes some trade publications. Try both and see what you get.


Some examples of databases that include trade publications are below, to get you started.

This is NOT a full list - for a full list of databases relevant to your field, follow the directions above.

Magazine filter leads to publications like Scientific American, Macworld, PC Magazine - even though these are general magazines, they assume an interest in and knowledge of the subject matter.
Trade publication filter leads to publications like Architectural Review, Hospitality Design, Art Business News, Museum News
Their magazines filter includes trade publications such as Hospital Employee Health, National Nurse, and Today's Dietician 
Trade publication filter leads to publications like Advertising Age, Broadcasting & Cable,  News Photographer
Magazine filter leads to publications like Corrections Today, Law Enforcement Product News
Magazine filter leads to publications like  Education Week, Teacher Trainer: A Practical Journal for Those Who Train, Mentor & Educate TESOL Teachers; Adjunct Nation
Magazine filter leads to publications like Music Trades, Billboard, Record Collector, Pro Sound News
Magazine filter leads to publications like Economist, New Statesman - these are general magazines, but they write for a college-educated audience.
Trade publications filter leads to publications like Aviation Week and Space Technology, National Defense, Armed Forces Journal
Magazines filter leads to publications like Jane's Defence Weekly (very famous), National Geographic, Marine Corps Gazette
Magazine filter leads mostly to general audience magazines like Runner's World and SHAPE (which do assume a strong interest in the subject matter), but includes some trade publications like Coach and Athlelic Director.
Magazine filter leads to publications like: Corrections Forum, Psychotherapy Network Magazine, New Social Worker


Go back to finding and evaluating sources

 Finding research sources Evaluating research sources


 Go back to getting startedgo to OneSearchGo to library home page