Finding and Evaluating Gray Literature

What is Gray Literature?

Generally Gray Literature is a work that is either informally published, or published by a non-commercial enterprise, such as an organization, academic institution, or government agency. Gray Literature includes reports, conference proceedings, research papers, dissertations and more.

Where to find Gray Literature?

• Organization websites – Look for tabs or links to terms like Reports, Research, Publications or Resources.

Dissertations Database

Advanced Google Search – Allows exact phrase searching, limits to regions or domain and more.

How to Evaluate Gray Literature?

• Is the information from a reputable source? If it is unfamiliar, read the “About Us” section, and review the institutional affiliation of any members.

• What is the purpose of the organization or agency? Do they have an agenda, bias or commercial interest? Look for a mission statement.

• Is the information or research accurate and valid? Does information from other sources that you have read support or confirm the research?

• Is the information current or out-of-date?