Grey Literature

Grey Literature is research and other information not disseminated by commercial or academic publishers. As the Third International Conference on Grey Literature in 1997 put it: "...that which is produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats, but which is not controlled by commercial publishers...". Later, the following detail was added: "...where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body". How important grey literature sources will be to you will depend on the specific academic field you are working in.

Examples of Grey Literature

  • field notes
  • laboratory research books
  • academic courseware
  • lecture notes
  • evaluations
  • research / project reports
  • project reports
  • annual / activity reports
  • theses
  • conference proceedings
  • preprints
  • working papers
  • newsletters
  • technical reports
  • recommendations
  • technical standards
  • patents
  • technical notes
  • data / statistics
  • presentations

Where To Find Grey Literature

Grey Literature can most easily be found on government, educational, business and organizational websites. If you are doing a thesis or dissertation, you may want to scan the websites of the organizations which are active in the subject areas within which your topic falls - you may find relevant materials such as reports and white papers.

  • Government Documents
    • Find Them:
      • On Governmental websites
  • Conference Proceedings - A collection of academic papers published in the context of an academic conference
  • Position Papers - In business and politics, a written report outlining attitude or intentions abut a particular matter
    • Find Them:
      • On Governmental websites
      • On Non-Governmental Organization websites
      • On Professional Association websites
  • Research Posters - A short report of the results of research in a poster form

Our Databases that Contain Grey Literature

These databases may also contain other types of information, such as articles, but do have some grey literature (such as conference proceedings, etc.,) in them:

NameCategoriesVideo Tutorial
1findr (formerly oaFindr)Accounting, Acupuncture, Agriculture, Audio Visual, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Botanical Medicine, Business, Business English, Chinese Medicine, Chiropractic, Communication, Computer Science, Counseling, Creative Writing, Criminal Justice, Dental Hygiene, Design Management, Dissertations, East Asia, eBooks, Education, Engineering, Environment, ESL, Exercise, Fashion, General, Global Development, Graphic Design, grey literature, Grey Literature, Health Sciences, History, Human Resources, Human Services, Humanities, Industrial Design, Industrial Relations, Interior Design, International Business, International Studies, Knowledge Management, Law, Literature, Management, Marketing, Martial Arts, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Laboratory Science, Music, Naturopathic Medicine, News, Nursing, Nutrition, Pharmacy, Philosophy, Physician Assistant, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Affairs, Reference, Science, Social Issues, Sociology, Technology, Technology Management, World Religions
ProQuest Dissertations and ThesesCriminal Justice, Dissertations, East Asia, Education, Global Development, Grey Literature, Health Sciences, International Studies, Technology ManagementVideo Tutorial
Library, Information Science & Technology AbstractsGrey Literature, Knowledge Management, Reference
FAITS – Faulkner Advisory for IT StudiesBiomedical Engineering, Business, Business English, Computer Science, Engineering, Grey Literature, Industrial Relations, International Business, Knowledge Management, Management, Marketing, Reference, Technology Management
ERIC – Education Resources Information Center (EBSCO)*Education, Grey Literature, Health SciencesVideo Tutorial
Engineering VillageBiomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering, Grey Literature, Industrial Design, Knowledge Management, Technology ManagementVideo Tutorial
The Cochrane LibraryAcupuncture, Biomedical Engineering, Botanical Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Chiropractic, Dental Hygiene, Exercise, Grey Literature, Health Sciences, Naturopathic Medicine, Nursing, Nutrition, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, ReferenceVideo Tutorial
ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) Digital CollectionEngineering, Grey Literature, Mechanical EngineeringVideo Tutorial
ACM Digital LibraryBiomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering, Grey Literature, Industrial Design, Mathematics, Technology ManagementVideo Tutorial
NameCategoriesVideo Tutorial