White Paper

Last Updated: May 25, 2013

Definition - What does White Paper mean?

A white paper is an authoritative guide or report that explains the benefits of a particular technology, product or policy. White papers are published on the Web and in print by researchers, organization vendors and consultants. White papers are commonly used to describe the theory behind a new technology of computer methodology.

Techopedia explains White Paper

Historically, white papers were legislative documents that explained policies, actions and methodologies, and were often published to invite public comment. Today, white papers are divided into the following categories:
  • Policy: Supports a political solution to societal challenges
  • Technical: Describes the theory behind a specific new technology
  • Business/Marketing: Explains benefits of a methodology, product or technology
  • Hybrid: Combines business/marketing and technical white papers and may be used as sales tool

White papers streamline decisions and troubleshooting by explaining a particular topic, niche or industry, as follows: Development results and benchmark testing New technology Social or philosophical positions Organized or collaborative research recommendations

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