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Grey Literature

Grey literature sources for research

Government Reports


Government reports and publications

Government and Parliamentary publications typically include; Hansard, government agency annual reports, legislation and regulations.

Specialised websites that hold Government and Parliamentary publications:


GovPubs: the Australian Government Publications Guide details Government publications holdings in Australian State libraries, and is maintained by the National Library of Australia, 



Australian Federal Government Publications

Australian Government agencies regularly release a number of publications including:

  • Annual reports
  • Australian Government gazettes
  • Budget statements
  • Commonwealth legislation
  • Parliamentary publications
  • Style manual
  • Government publishing


You can search for current government publications on the websites of individual agencies.


Non Government Reports and Publications


Trove, an initiative of the National Library of Australia, connects content from libraries, galleries, archives, museums, and other research and collecting organisations and repositories across Australia. www.trove.nla.gov.au  

Trove's collections are divided into the following categories:

  • Digitised newspapers
  • Government Gazettes
  • Journals, articles and data sets
  • Books
  • Pictures, photos, objects
  • Music, sound and video
  • Maps
  • Diaries, letters, archives
  • Archived websites (1996 - now)
  • People and organisations
  • Lists

A more comprehensive list of partners who contribute To Trove's collections can be accessed via Trove: https://trove.nla.gov.au/system/counts

Clearing Houses

Clearing houses are repositories for literature organised by a wide range of bodies with the main collective aim of providing a service or access to a collection of literature, data or works. These collecting groups can include (and are not limited to) individuals, libraries, universities, not-for-profits, governments, and more.

 You can use your search engine to help you discover clearing houses.

Try this search:

“[your broad subject area] and Clearinghouse”

Typing in “Archaeology and clearinghouse” returned the following result:

https://archaeologyeducationclearinghouse.wordpress.com/ (accessed 26/6/2018)

This clearing house’s mission statement describes their clearinghouse as :

The AEC is an affiliation of professional archaeological not-for-profit organizations and agencies whose goals are:

  • To facilitate the sharing of educational resources, skills, and expertise to those publics engaged in interpreting, educating about, and otherwise exploring past human lifeways.
  • To advocate for, and generate public stewardship of, our endangered cultural resources.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar and Grey Literature

You cannot rely on Google Scholar alone for your grey literature search, however, it is a very powerful addition to your grey literature arsenal. Google scholar will return grey literature results and peer review paid subscription journal results.


Using Google Advanced Searching

Using google advanced searching:

Search engines or search boxes on government and nongovernment websites may not yield the results are are expecting or hoping to see. There can be a number of reasons for this; however, it is often because the website was not specifically designed for efficient document searching. To increase your accuracy and get the most out of a document search, you can use Google Advanced Search to restrict your results to specific websites, file types and more. 

PDF is one of the most common formats of Grey Literature documentation. 

  1. Go to Google & Type “google advanced search”
  2. Enter your search term in the main section and write PDF in the “file type” section
  3. Click on Search

You can also use google advanced to search within a specific website for publicly available content:

  1. Go to Google & Type “google advanced search”
  2. Enter your search term in the main section and enter the website you wish to search in the “site or domain” section
  3. Click on Search

You can also add operator stings to the above searches own search topics.

     For example: site:health.gov.au filetype:pdf (wellbeing OR well being) (elderly OR senior OR "older adults")