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For Researchers

What is Grey Literature?

Grey literature is “information produced  by all levels of government, academics, business and industry in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing”.

 

Grey literature includes:

Theses and dissertations, conference proceedings, newsletters, reports, government documents, informal communications, translations, census data, research reports, technical reports, standards, patents, videos, clinical trials and practice guidelines, eprints, preprints, wiki articles, emails, blogs, listserv archives, repository content.

 

Grey literature may present a number of challenges for the researcher:

  • difficult to find
  • many documents are not web published
  • older documents may not be archived
  • short print runs may lead to lack of availability
  • format and citation information may be inconsistent
  • volume of material may be over-whelming and consuming
  • quality of evidence varies.

Web Searching

Databases indexing grey literature

 

Database

Type of grey literature

Analysis & Policy Observatory

Public policy research reports, articles and data from academic research centres, think tanks, government and non-government organisations. Also features opinion and commentary pieces, video, audio and web resources particularly for issues facing Australia and New Zealand.

Google Scholar

Articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.

MedNar One-stop search across medical societies, NIH resources, other U.S. government websites, and patents.
OAlster Catalog of millions of records representing open access resources from open access collections worldwide. OAIster includes more than 25 million records representing digital resources from more than 1,100 contributors.
OpenDOAR Global directory of academic open access repositories containing full-text resources.
Open Grey Open access to 700.000 bibliographical references of grey literature (paper) produced in Europe and allows you to export records and locate the documents.
Science.gov Gateway to over 50 million pages of authoritative selected science information provided by U.S. government agencies, including research and development results
WorldWideScience.org Global science gateway-accelerating scientific discovery and progress through a multilateral partnership to enable federated searching of national and international scientific databases.