Technical publishers provide periodical materials, hardcover or soft cover books, and electronic media that provide information about developments in engineering, science, and technology. They are industry-specific and designed for businesses, educational institutions, and governmental agencies that are engaged in a particular field of study. There are many different types of trade journals, books, and technical publications available. Examples include engineering journals, technical journals, civil engineering journals, mechanical journals, and electrical engineering journals. An engineering journal provides information about the application of science and technology to business and industry. A technical journal may also examine engineering issues, but is often devoted to a particular topic such as computing. A civil engineering journal provides information about activities such as bridge design, dam construction, and the effects of environmental variables on building materials. A mechanical journal may focus upon the design, fabrication, and repair of machinery or heavy equipment. An electrical engineering journal is directed towards electrical engineers. Other types of trade journals, books, and technical publications include aviation trade journals, aircraft technical publications, handbooks, and test preparation materials.
Trade Organizations and Business Groups
Technical publications are available from a variety of trade organizations and business groups. Examples include the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Society for Technical Communications (STC), the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST), the American Water Works Association (AWWA), and the Materials Research Society (MRS). Organizations that provide trade journals, books, and technical publications also include the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA); the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (AME). Historically, trade journals, books, and technical publications from these organizations consisted of printed materials available at periodic intervals (e.g., weekly, monthly, or quarterly). Today, many trade journals, books, and technical publications are available via Internet downloads, on compact disk (CD), or via other electronic media. The cost of trade journals, books, and technical publications varies by subject matter, organization, and media type. Discounts for students, organization members, and licensed professionals may be available in some cases.