Grey literature comprises "documents produced on all levels of government, academia, business and industry in print and electronic formats" ... but which is "not controlled by commercial publishers i.e., where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body.”
Schöpfel, J. (2010) 'Towards a Prague Definition of Grey Literature." Transparency in Grey Literature. Grey Tech Approaches to High Tech Issues:12th International Conference on Grey Literature. Prague, 6-7 December 2010, pp.11-26.
When doing health science/public health research, looking for grey literature can help you find
It can help you avoid missing important information due to
A Grey Literature search may be a requirement of an exhaustive evidence-based research project such as
If your research will benefit from looking beyond traditional, commercially published journals, or if the type of study you are doing requires you to find Grey Literature, ask yourself the following:
What kind of research document would contain the information I need?
Who would publish this kind of information?
Much of the information created by these different entities is searchable & freely available on the internet.
Start your search by finding webpages of health research agencies that may produce relevant information.
|Common Institutions/Organizations||Specific Countries||Specific document formats|
|United States academic ⇒ .edu||Cyprus⇒ .cy||Adobe acrobat doc ⇒ .pdf|
|UK academic ⇒ .ac.uk||
European Union ⇒ .eu
|word document ⇒ .doc|
Non- commercial ⇒ .org
|Greece ⇒ .gr||power point ⇒ .ppt|
|Non-governmental ⇒ .ngo or .ong||United Kingdom⇒.uk||Excel spreadsheet ⇒ .xls|
|US government ⇒ .gov||United States ⇒ .us|
|See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Internet_top-level_domains||See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Country_code_top-level_domain|
Use advanced Google commands directly in the search box
Google search syntax
|allintext : search for documents with specific words in the text||allinurl : find search terms in url||inauthor : find books written by specific author||intitle : find your term in the title & document||link : find sites that link to a desired URL||location : find results from a location (Google News only)|
|related : find web pages that are similar to a URL (helps find organizations you are not familiar with)||site:country code : search for results from a specific country||source : find results from a specific source||? or * : internal & end of word wildcards||- : exclude a search term from your results||“ ” : search by phrase all words together|