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Graduate Preparatory Program: Grey Literature

What is grey literature?

Grey literature refers to published or unpublished information not commercially available. It is not produced or distributed via traditional publication methods.  Grey literature can include:

  • Government documents                
  • Working papers
  • Reports                                             
  • White papers
  • Policy statements                            
  • Speeches
  • Fact sheets                                      
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Conference Proceedings              
  • Newsletters and bulletins

It is typically produced by government agencies, non-governmental organizations, or industry to be used internally or for wider distribution.

Grey literature can be a great source for current research because its distribution is not impacted by the delays characteristic of traditional commercial publishing. However, as such, grey literature does not typically undergo the rigour of peer review. Because of this, the quality can vary, and thus, it demands critical evaluation.


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Governmental organizations, non-governmental organization, and international governmental organization search tools

The NGO and IGO Search tools are Google Custom Search engines that search across hundreds of non-governmental organization (NGO) or International Government Organizations websites. The customized engines are a project of the International Documents Taskforce (IDTF) and Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT) of the American Library Association (ALA).

Other Sources

Institutional Repositories