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I am a Mechanical Engineering student & want to pursue Master of Science with specialization in Design/CAD. Recently I have come across white papers on website of some companies about their products. My friend told me that publishing a white paper would be beneficial for my MS applications. So I wanted to know: 1. What exactly is the scope of a white paper? 2. What sort of topic/information must one put in the paper? 3. How to publish a white paper (I mean is there a Journal for white papers or any other standard)? 4. How much effect does it have in showing my research aptitude compared to a scientific publication/ research paper?

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In the research field a white paper is not so important. However, if you plan to work in an applied field,a white paper is valued highly because it shows you are aware of the current issues in your field. In general, white papers are issue-oriented. For example, in the field of architecture "green" building materials are valued over traditional. But why? A white paper could present facts on "green" building materials versus traditional materials in terms of cost and performance. Other factors could also be weighed such as customer preference. Therefore, when the executives of a firm read the white paper it could help them make a major decision on materials they will buy in the future.

See below the definition of white paper:

White papers in business-to-business (B2B) marketing

Since the early 1990s, the term white paper has been applied to documents used as B2B marketing or sales tools. Far more commercial white papers are now produced for B2B vendors than political white papers for governments[citation needed].

B2B white papers are long-form content designed to promote the products or services from a specific company. As a marketing tool, these papers use selected facts and logical arguments to build a case favorable to the company sponsoring the document. B2B white papers are often used to generate sales leads, establish thought leadership, make a business case, or inform and persuade prospective customers, channel partners, journalists, analysts, or investors.

Many B2B white papers argue that one particular technology, product or method is superior for solving a specific business problem. They may also present research findings, list a set of questions or tips about a certain business issue, or highlight a particular product or service from a vendor.

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