Healthcare Management

What is Grey Literature?

How is grey literature defined?

Grey literature has been defined as ...

"multiple document types produced on all levels of government, academics, business, and organization in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body."

Source: Grey Literature Network Service. (2012). GreyNet International 1992-2012.

What types of documents are included in grey literature?

Grey literature can include, but is not limited to the following types of documents:

  • Preprints
  • Research and technical reports
  • Theses and dissertations
  • Conference proceedings and abstracts
  • Government documents
  • Clinical trials
  • Technical specifications and standards
  • Annual reports and corporate filings
  • Policy statements
  • Newsletters

Where to Search for Grey Literature

Where can I find grey literature? 

Since there are many different types of grey literature sources, where to search will depend on the topic of your research and the type of document you are looking for. 

For a list of grey literature repositories and health research organizations, consult the Ontario Public Health Library Association's Public Health Grey Literature Sources:

Search Tips

For more tips on where to find grey literature, including dissertations and theses, clinical trials, conference proceedings and government resources, check out the Grey Literature for Health Sciences Research Guide. 

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