Whitepapers are often used by businesses, organizations, and governments to convey detailed information about a specific issue or topic. They are typically written by subject matter experts and can range in length from a few pages to several hundred pages. In this article, we'll take a closer look at what whitepapers are, their history, examples of popular whitepapers, who they're written for, who writes them, and where you can find them.
What is a Whitepaper?
A whitepaper is a document that provides a detailed explanation of a particular issue, technology, or product. It is typically written in a formal, academic tone and contains supporting data, research, and analysis. Whitepapers are often used by businesses to explain how their products or services can solve a specific problem or address a specific need. They can also be used by governments and organizations to provide information on public policy, technical issues, or social trends.
History of Whitepapers
The origins of whitepapers can be traced back to the British government in the 19th century. In the mid-1800s, the government published a series of whitepapers on topics ranging from education to healthcare. These papers were designed to provide detailed information and analysis to policymakers and the public.
In the business world, whitepapers began to gain popularity in the 1990s as technology companies sought to explain complex products and services to potential customers. Today, whitepapers are used in a wide range of industries and sectors.
Examples of Whitepapers
There are countless examples of whitepapers in circulation today. Some of the most popular whitepapers include:
Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System by Satoshi Nakamoto
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
The Internet of Things: A New Era of Smart Devices by IBM
The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution by the World Economic Forum
Who are Whitepapers Written For?
Whitepapers are typically written for a specific audience, such as business executives, policymakers, or academics. They are designed to provide detailed information and analysis on a particular topic, so they are often read by individuals who have a deep interest or expertise in the subject matter.
Who Writes Whitepapers?
Whitepapers are typically written by subject matter experts, such as researchers, academics, or industry professionals. In some cases, companies may hire external writers or consultants to help produce the paper. Regardless of who writes it, whitepapers are typically reviewed and approved by a team of experts to ensure that the information is accurate and well-supported.
Where to Find Whitepapers?
Whitepapers can be found in a variety of places, including:
Company websites: Many businesses publish whitepapers on their websites to educate customers and promote their products or services.
Research databases: Academic and research databases, such as JSTOR or Google Scholar, may contain whitepapers on a wide range of topics.
Professional organizations: Professional organizations and industry associations often publish whitepapers to provide information to their members.
Government websites: Governments often publish whitepapers on public policy issues or technical topics.
In conclusion, whitepapers are a valuable tool for businesses, organizations, and governments to provide in-depth information and analysis on a specific topic. They are typically written by subject matter experts and are intended for a specific audience. Whitepapers can be found in a variety of places, including company websites, research databases, professional organizations, and government websites.