a guide for librarians, information professionals and researchers

“Grey literature” is a term used to describe material that is often overlooked in traditional research settings. This type of literature includes items such as conference proceedings, government reports, and technical manuals. While grey literature can be incredibly valuable in terms of providing insights that might not be found in more mainstream sources, it can be difficult to locate and access.

This guide provides an overview of how to search for and use grey literature in research. It covers topics such as why grey literature is important, where to find it, and how to evaluate it. This guide is aimed at librarians, information professionals, and researchers who are interested in incorporating grey literature into their work.

Why is grey literature important?

Grey literature is often overlooked in traditional research settings, but it can actually be quite valuable. This type of literature can provide insights that might not be found in more mainstream sources. For example, conference proceedings can be a great source of information on new and emerging research. Likewise, government reports can provide detailed information on policy initiatives.

Where can I find grey literature?

There are a number of ways to locate grey literature. One way is to search for it in online databases. Another way is to attend conferences and symposia where this type of literature is often presented. Finally, grey literature can often be found in institutional repositories and digital libraries.

How can I evaluate grey literature?

Once you’ve located some grey literature, it’s important to evaluate it to ensure that it is high quality and relevant to your research. When evaluating grey literature, consider the following factors:

-The source: Is the publication reputable?
-The content: Is the information accurate and up-to-date?
-The audience: Is the publication aimed at a professional audience?

Keep these factors in mind when you’re evaluating grey literature, and you’ll be sure to find material that is useful and relevant to your research.

Other related questions:

How do you search for grey literature?

There are a few ways to search for grey literature. You can try searching in Google Scholar, PubMed, or other academic search engines. You can also try searching in specific grey literature databases, such as the Grey Literature Network Service or the Grey Literature International Steering Committee. Finally, you can try contacting specific authors or experts in your field to see if they know of any good sources of grey literature.

Can grey literature be used in research?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the specific research question and what types of resources are available. However, grey literature can often be useful in research, especially when it comes to providing information on more recent or specialized topics. Additionally, grey literature can help to fill in gaps in the research literature, or provide different perspectives on an issue.

How do you include grey literature in a systematic review?

There is no one definitive answer to this question as it can depend on the specific aims and methods of the systematic review in question. However, some common approaches to including grey literature in a systematic review include searching for grey literature using specific databases or search engines, contacting experts in the field to identify unpublished studies, and hand-searching relevant journals.

What does grey literature mean in research?

Grey literature is a type of research that includes information that is not easily accessible or available through traditional channels, such as academic journals or commercial publishers. This can include information from government reports, conference proceedings, theses and dissertations, and other sources.


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