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Finding Grey Literature

Start your Grey Literature search with this guide containing resources and strategies for discovering research produced outside traditional commercial or academic publishing channels.

Grey Literature

Grey literature:

  • is not widely disseminated
  • is difficult to find
  • may contain more information as there aren't publication length stipulations 
  • can be produced and disseminated much faster than published literature
  • is less expensive to access than traditional closed-access literature
  • may not go through as rigorous of a peer review process
  • is often not archived

Why Include Grey Literature?

Gey literature completes the picture of research on a particular topic. It is an important source for:

  • recent results, data, and statistics
  • counteracting publication lag (results may show up in conference proceedings months or years before they show up in peer-reviewed journals)
  • mitigating positive result bias in your review of published literature

What Does Grey Literature Look Like?

There are many document types that are considered grey literature, including:

  • policies or procedures documents
  • guidelines
  • conference proceedings, papers or posters
  • dissertations and theses
  • clinical trials
  • leaflets and factsheets