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Grey Literature

Grey literature sources for research

Conferences proceedings or meetings


"Over one-half of trials reported in conference abstracts never reach full publication, and those that are eventually published in full have been shown to be systematically different from those that are never published in full"  (Scherer 2007).

Proceedings from conferences are often published in books, or in special issues of journals. They are also often hosted on organisational and institutional websites.

They can be difficult to find and often only the abstract of the paper will be published.  There are some tips below on locating these papers.

Conferences are also known as conventions, symposiums, seminars, congresses, meetings, colloquia, or roundtables

Image: Pixabay/fill CC0       

Scherer, R. W., Langenberg, P., & Von Elm, E. (2007). Full publication of results initially presented in abstracts. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2(2), MR000005.

Finding conferences

To locate conferences try searching:
  • Key organisations or association websites
  • Web search for topic eg: megafauna (conference OR symposium OR meeting OR congress OR convention)
  • Conference directories eg AllConferences.com
  • Conduct a topic database search and limited to conferences

Many databases contain citations of conference papers. Here are some suggestions.

Tip: Limit results to conferences