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CSS 200 Introduction to Network Security - Security+

Use this research guide to help you with your one page papers.

Trade Journal Definition

What is a trade publication?

Trade Journal: A regularly published collection of articles that address topics of interest to members of a particular profession, such as law enforcement or advertising or banking or cyber security.  

  • Articles tend to be brief and often report on developments and news within a field and might summarize current research being done in a particular area.
  • Trade journals might also include editorials, letters to the editor, photo essays, and advertisements that target members of the profession.
  • While trade journal articles might include references, the reference lists tend to be brief and don't reflect thorough reviews of the literature.
  • Articles are usually written with the particular profession in mind but are generally pretty accessible so that a person wishing to learn more about the profession would still be able to understand the articles.
  • Examples of trade journals include Police Chief, Education Digest, Energy Weekly News, Aviation Week and Space Technology, Engineering News Record, Design News, and Traffic World.

Trade Publication Article Characteristics

Trade publications is the type of source you want to read as a student studying cyber security or computer science. 

Authors: Authors of trade journal or trade magazine articles are usually members of a particular field or profession. Usually their rank or position within a profession will be indicated next to their names.

Frequency of Publication: Usually published monthly, trade journals might also have less or more frequent publication schedules (semi-monthly, quarterly, bi-weekly).

Brevity: Articles tend to be under a dozen pages in length. Length might be extended due to the inclusion of photographs or illustrations.

Columns/Features: Trade journals frequently will have regular features or columns that contain articles directed toward a particular aspect of the field. For example, a trade journal focusing on police work might have a regular feature that includes articles written by police chiefs or that includes articles that focus specifically on police technology. Conference announcements and events calendars are also frequent features of trade journals as they specialize in keeping professionals up to date on happenings in their specialties.

Subject Focus: Articles in trade journals focus on topics of interest to the profession and might include references to studies published in journals but not the research articles themselves.

References/Bibliographies: Articles in trade journals might include references, although usually not nearly as extensively as academic/scholarly journals. Bibliographies tend to be brief and might include references from other trade publications, from journals, or even from magazines and newspapers.

Advertisements: Advertisements are typically geared toward so-called "tools of the trade." In other words, in a law enforcement publication, advertisements will likely be for police uniforms or bulletproof vests or automobile laptop systems. Consumer advertisements are usually the domain of magazines.

Overall Appearance: Trade journals might have glossy, high-impact covers or might have plainer, less catchy covers. In general, the articles, themselves, will include illustrations and photographs and might even have references to other sources of information on the topics covered.