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Systematic Reviews, a Guide: Grey Literature

Grey Literature

What is it?

Grey (or gray) literature is the published and unpublished research not typically available commercially, such as in journals.A thorough systematic review should include searching the grey literature for any relevant research.

Grey literature includes:

  • Conference abstracts, papers and proceedings
  • White papers
  • Government documents and reports
  • Theses
  • Bibliographies
  • Clinical trials
  • Pamphlets, newsletters, bulletins, fact sheets
  • Surveys, interviews
  • Non-traditional communication and media (blogs, podcasts, email, social media)

GreyNet International has a comprehensive list of document types.

Where to find it?

There are many places, including:

For theses and disserations, the following databases:

For conference proceedings:

For government documents:

For technical reports:

  • NTIS (National Technical Information Service)

Individual organizations: