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Public Health Information Resources: Grey literature

Guide to selected resources in Public Health

Engaging with grey literature

It's important to integrate information from grey literature into your scholarly research, but it can be hard to find, appraise, and manage grey literature. Use this webpage for advice, but remember that grey literature is diverse. Public health librarian Kate Nyhan is happy to consult with you about a grey literature search strategy tailored to your project.

Special link for Rob Dubrow's students on Wednesday!

Want help?

Kate Nyhan, MLIS

Schedule a consultation (videochat or phone)

Kate's two favorite grey literature tools

Searching for grey literature on the web

Researchers: "I wish I could do a Google search, but just for the sites I care about, not for the whole web."

Librarians: "Good news! Anyone can create a custom search targeted at a specific group of websites."

Non-governmental organization custom search
NB as of 4/8/2019, the link to the NGO custom search is broken. You can still look at the documentation with the links below. I've informed GODORT (the organization that maintains these custom searches) and I'll remove this note when I hear that it's been fixed.

The technical side of creating a Google custom search is easy; you probably won't even need this documentation. The hard part is deciding which websites you want to include in your search.

Look for grey literature in these databases

More grey literature

What is grey literature?

Technical definition

information produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing, i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body -- from ICGL Luxembourg 1997; expanded in New York 2004

Practical definitions

High-quality information created and shared outside the scholarly communications infrastructure of journals and traditional publishers

Reports, white papers, dissertations, conference papers, and data -- all things you won't find in PubMed!