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EGL 300 - Advanced Writing

What is a Trade Publication?

Trade publications, such as trade journals or trade magazines, are periodicals that publish articles relevant to a particular field or industry. They are usually written by professionals actively working in the field, and the primary intended audience is working professionals. Trade sources often have advertisements that are targeted to the professionals in that industry, highlighting specific tools or products that would be used in their work. Trade sources may sometimes include references or citations, but they are generally not required.

Trade sources include journals and magazines such as Marine Log, Maritime Logistics Professional, Maritime Reporter & Engineering News, and The Maritime Executive:

Marine LogMaritime LogisticsMaritime ReporterMaritime Executive

Identify Trade Publications for Your Topic

Explore Your Topic: Who Covers It?

Some of the Cal Maritime Library subscription databases have an option to limit by trade publications. Use this option to find publications that publish articles similar to your topic. They may be interested in your article as well.

  1. In the databases linked below, search for articles related to your topic. Use very general, broad terms related to your topic (a publication probably won't want to publish the exact same topic someone else has already written about).
  2. Filter by source type "Trade Journals" or "Trade Publications" (each database might use different labels)
  3. Notice which publications have articles related to your interests
  4. Read articles from that trade publication
  5. Track down the author guidelines and submission instructions for that publication

Track Down Submission Guidelines

Each publication may have a slightly different method for deciding to publish an article. Some may have staff writers, some may accept submissions and include author guidelines on their website, some may have freelance writers they work with on a regular basis.

  1. Try to find Author Guidelines or Submission information on the trade publication's website
  2. You can also try looking for third-party repositories of guidelines, such as this database of Writer's Guidelines from FreelanceWriting.
  3. You can look for the contact information listed on the website and contact the editor to find out if they accept unsolicited submissions.
  4. Read other articles from the publication carefully. Take note of the style of the articles they've already published.