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Popular Sources vs. Scholarly Journals

What is it?

Grey literature refers to research that is published outside of the traditional publishing methods, and may include technical, statistical and market research reports, theses, conference proceedings, technical documentation, and official documents not published commercially (like a government report). 

The Fourth International Conference on Grey Literature (GL '99) in Washington, DC defined grey literature as follows: "That which is produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats, but which is not controlled by commercial publishers."

Grey literature can be a useful source of information since it may be produced more quickly and contain more detail than traditional scholarly information, and is often created by professionals in a particular field. However, it can be hard to find because these documents are often not found through standard indexing sources, such a library database.

Finding Grey Literature:

  • You can find links to think tanks, research organizations, government agencies, etc. from the Library's Research Guides. Find a Research Guide on your  topic or subject area. The agencies and organizations on these guides have been reviewed by a librarian and are excellent sources for grey literature (reports, fact sheets, studies, etc.). 
  • Tips for finding grey literature and several resources for searching are available at the Cal State Long Beach Research Guide on the subject.

Video: What is Grey Literature?

Source: Seneca Libraries

Last Updated: Jan 29, 2024 3:18 PM