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Conducting a Literature Review for the Social Sciences

Definitions of Grey Literature

Grey (or gray) literature is …
information produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in electronic and print formats… i.e, where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body." 
(International Conference on Grey Literature, Luxembourg,1997 – Expanded in New York, 2004)
Source: GreyNet: grey literature network service. Amsterdam: GreyNet; 2008.

Therefore, grey literature could be:
• Unpublished
• Non-commercial material
• In-house, vertical files
• Fugitive
• Information on the deep Web
• “Hard to find”

To see more specialized and authoritative sources of grey literature, please refer to the "Special Topics" Tab on THIS library guide. 

Types of Grey Literature

Some examples:

  • Reports
  • Statistics
  • Conference abstracts and proceedings
  • Dissertations and theses
  • Registered research
  • Patents
  • Newsletters
  • White Papers

Some Specialized Research Databases (freely available online)

Resource Guides on Grey Literature

Other Grey Literature - specific resources