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GEO314/513 Research Skills Guide: Grey literature

Searching beyond databases

We can all agree that journal articles are the best source for academic, scholarly information. However they are not the end of the story. In Assessment 2 you have been asked provide a range of diverse perspectives.

To show diverse perspectives you will need to look beyond academic or research articles. The information below will help you find alternate resources to bring in new perspectives.

Grey literature

Grey literature refers to scholarly works and research that have not been commercially published. Grey literature is generally not subject to peer review however, it can often be a good source of up to date information. Alternatively, it can provide a valuable historical link to how things were done in the past.

Examples of grey literature include:

  • conference proceedings
  • theses
  • government documents
  • fact sheets and bulletins
  • annual reports
  • business papers
  • informal communication (blogs, podcasts)
  • reports
  • newspapers
  • statistics and census data

To find grey literature you can search:

  • Australian Policy Online
  • Trove to locate Australian publications from libraries, museums, archives and research organisations.
  • Web of Science indexes conference proceedings
  • Internet resources - make use of the Google search tips on the right.

Examples of Grey literature

Charles Sturt University acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which its campuses are located, paying respect to Elders, both past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.