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.
To view databases by subject:
Choose a subject, and then choose a database. For example:
Within each database, there will be source type filters. They may look like this:
-- 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.
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.