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Grey Literature

Grey literature sources for research

Grey Literature

The Pisa Declaration describes Grey Literature as:
  • "A wealth of knowledge and information is produced by organizations, governments and industry, covering a wide range of subject areas and professional fields, not controlled by commercial publishing
  • These publications, data and other materials known as grey literature, are an essential resource in scholarly communication, research, and policy making for business, industry, professional practice, and civil society.
  • Grey literature is recognized as a key source of evidence, argument, innovation, and understanding in many disciplines including science, engineering, health, social sciences, education, the arts and humanities." (http://www.greynet.org/images/Pisa_Declaration,_May_2014.pdf) 


Grey literature can include:

  • Technical or research reports from government agencies
  • Reports from scientific research groups
  • Working papers from research groups or committees
  • Conference and meeting proceedings/abstracts
  • Dissertations and theses
  • Statistics
  • Patents
  • Archival materials
  • Unpublished or ongoing studies
  • Clinical practice guidelines not published in journals
  • Informal communications with experts ... and so much more ...

                  Image: Pixabay/myrfa CC0

Grey Literature Workshop Activities 

Activity 1: Finding theses


Follow along: Searching for Conference papers using the British Library Advanced Search
  • Go to https://www.bl.uk/#
  • 'Catalogues and Collections'  dropdown list
  • Select 'Search the Main Catalogue'
  • Select 'Advanced Search'
  • Select 'Main Title' from the dropdown box. Type in "digital divide" (with quotes)
  • Type in "school" (quotes don't matter here)
  • Click Search

When the list of results appears, scroll down until you see 'Genre' on the left hand side of refinement options

  • Select 'Conference literature'


Follow along: How to search for (Government) Reports
  • Go to Department of Education and Training (Federal Government): https://www.education.gov.au 
  • Search - "annual reports school", then select "Search documents" on left hand side

Check your results:

  • Go to Google
  • Type in www.education.gov.au site: annual report


Activity 2: Search for Government Reports on Dept. of Education and Training
  • Search for documents related to Naplan 
  • Check with Google


Activity 3: Find a dataset 

Using the Research Data Australia website (https://researchdata.ands.org.au)

  • Find datasets from Flinders researchers 
  • Find a dataset related to your discipline

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