Library Research Guide
Trade associations (also referred to professional associations or industry organizations) collect and publish information that is of interest to people in a particular industry.
Trade associations might:
Using a search engine to find trade associations for a particular industry is usually easy. Sifting through the types of information provided by those organizations and determining what is freely available to students takes more time.
Examples of searches to locate trade associations.
Sometime professional associations provide free information resources. For example, Design Business and Ethics is a free publication for graphic designers provided by The Professional Association for Design (AIGA).
The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) publishers reports that could be useful to an entrepreneur researching the video game industry. For example, the IGDA Developer Satisfaction Surveys provides information about salaries as well as trends in the gaming industry.
Some associations provide niche product or supplier directories. For example, the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) has a product directory of clothing and equipment suppliers categorized by sport.
Two important business literature databases, ABI/INFORM and Business Source Premier, allow searchers to limit results to articles in trade literature.