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What is "Grey Literature"?
"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." (Fourth International Conference on Grey Literature, Washington, DC, October, 1999)
Grey literature includes:
- Theses and dissertations
- Conference papers and proceedings
- Research reports
- Government documents
Conference Papers and Proceedings
Conference papers and proceedings can be very difficult to find because they:
- Can be published in different ways - as books, journal articles, abstracts
- Take several years to be published or may not be published at all
- May be deposited in an author or institutional repository
The British Library is a large repository of international conference proceedings. Some conferences include links to the contents page.
This is a freely accessible database of the full text of conference papers, working papers, and electronic literature that support educational research, policy, and practice.
Index of papers presented at conferences worldwide, covers every published congress, symposium, conference, exposition, workshop and meeting received by The British Library Document Supply Centre. 1993-present
ProceedingsFirst 1993 - present
Index of worldwide conference proceedings, covers every published congress, symposium, conference, exposition, workshop and meeting received by The British Library Document Supply Centre.
Government documents are an important primary source of information on a wide range of issues. They can be found through a search of the library catalog and government websites.
The official web portal for the U.S. government.
Theses and Dissertations
Dissertations & Theses (ProQuest)
Database of record for doctoral dissertations and master’s theses. Represents the work from over 1,000 graduate schools and universities in North America and from around the world.
Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD)
The NDLTD is a collaborative effort of nearly 200 universities around the world dedicated to improving graduate education by expanding access to searchable electronic theses and dissertations. Users can search using one of two search engines provided on the site, and can download or read the full text of the theses and dissertations, the majority of which are available free of charge.
Open Thesis is a free repository of theses, dissertations, and other academic documents.
Library and Archives Canada has a collection of over 300,000 Canadian theses and dissertations on microform, which are indexed on this site. Of these, approximately 50,000 are also available freely in electronic format.
Research reports contain the results of research projects, investigations, and surveys, and are usually published by the funder or the body undertaking the research.
They can be found by searching the websites of subject associations and research organizations, in addition to the library catalog and databases.
American Educational Research Association (AERA)
The AERA is concerned with improving the educational process by encouraging scholarly inquiry related to education, and by promoting the dissemination and practical application of research results. Its website provides access to reports on research undertaken.
British Educational Research Association (BERA)
The BERA is a learned society for researchers engaged in a wide range of educational research. Issues of its newsletter, "Research Intelligence," and its Reviews - "Academic Reviews" and Professional User Reviews" - are available on its website free of charge.
National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)
NFER is the largest independent educational research institution in Europe. Many of its publications are available as free downloads. The NFER Library publishes a free monthly web-based current awareness service, which highlights recent reports, publications, and useful documents from prominent UK and international educational research-related websites that are available to download or view without payment.