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Grey Literature: Resources beyond the library

“Public policy work increasingly relies on a wide range of resources — some are traditional scholarly publications, but the majority are ‘grey literature’. Reports, discussion papers, briefings, reviews and data sets produced by government, academic centres, NGOs, think tanks and companies are heavily used and highly valued in policy and practice work, forming a key part of the evidence base” (Lawrence, Houghton, Thomas & Weldon, 2014, p. 3).

Grey literature is academic work that is not published by commercial publishers. Examples include fact sheets, pre-prints, white papers, proceedings, patents, standards, newsletters, patents, bulletins, symposia, some surveys, some maps, and scholarly materials published in open access journals. With the rise of the internet, self-publishing has brought grey literature to researchers all over the world in a more timely fashion than traditional publishing. See this paper for more discussion on the value of grey literature: Find It

With the increase of electronic publishing opportunities, digitization efforts and emerging technologies, grey literature is now more available and more in demand by growing user communities.

by Nia Rodgers

Image: Grey Literature

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