Trade Journals can be a key source of information about people, businesses and industries, but it can be tricky to find the right journal for your research, and even then it can be tricky to get articles from that journal. Here's some direction on how to tackle these tasks.
Finding Trade Journals By Topic: Several publications organize trade journals by topic or industry. Leading ones include the Oxbridge Directory of Newsletters and the Bacon's directories (there are editions for magazines, newspapers, etc.).
Also very useful is the Encyclopedia of Associations, which is available as a three-volume hard cover, as a Lexis database (BUSREF;ENASSC) and as Dialog File 114. Although the Encyclopedia is designed to help you find associations, the entries include the name of the publications put out by the associations in each industry. The Encyclopedia is especially useful because it gives you the names and phone numbers of associations you can call to get information about their journals and copies of articles from back issues.
Getting Copies of Articles: Articles from many trade journals are available from the major database vendors. For example, Westlaw puts trade journals in its MAGSPLUS database. You can also find trade journal articles from many fields on Lexis and Dialog.
In addition, several Internet sites let you search (generally for free) for trade journal articles and purchase (generally for cheap) articles from trade journals. These include FindArticles and IntelliSearch.
If you are looking for a particular article or articles from a particular journal, look in Fulltext Sources Online, which should tell you if the journal's articles are available on Lexis, Westlaw and/or another vendor and/or Dialog, and may give you an Internet address where the journal's articles are posted. You can also use general search engines to see if you can find a site where the journal articles are posted (search for the name of the journal and/or the name of the association that publishes the journal).
If the databases let you down, your best bet may be to call the relevant association or journal. To get the phone number, you can use the sources listed in the "Finding Trade Journals By Topic" section of this entry, above, or you can search for a Web site or just try calling Information (i.e., 411 or 555-1212).
Another approach: Find an industry-specific library and see if they'll help you. To find these libraries, try a directory of Special Library Association members and/or the Encyclopedia of Associations, discussed above.