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Trade associations and government agencies

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The Web is a primary conduit for information from trade associations and government agencies. 

The organization’s Web site is often the first place to look for background, overviews, statistics, and reports. 

If you do not know the name of the relevant trade associations, consult an online database such as Gale’s Encyclopedia of Associations, available on Dialog as File 114 and on LexisNexis as EnCASSC. 

You can also search the American Society of Association Executive Web site ( for free, but this source is not as comprehensive as the Encyclopedia of Associations.

Using a search engine to search the open Web can sometimes uncover links to trade associations. 

Or, to simultaneously search for publications across several trade associations, access Trade Association Research through Thomson research (

If you think a government agency might provide useful information, but do not know which one to research, there are a couple of strategies to try. 

One is to search FirstGov ( for federal government information, or State and Local Government on the Net ( for appropriate (state or local) jurisdictional Web sites. 

Because government Web sites can be so large, be prepared to use the site’s own search engine, or the Google toolbar search-within-site capability to track down the appropriate Web pages within the site.


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