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Yale University Library Today's Hours:   Off-campus access  Search

Public Health Information Resources: Grey literature

Kayla & Kate's grey lit favorites

Your grey lit plans

  • What kinds of grey lit documents are relevant to you? You wouldn't look for white papers in the same way you'd look for clinical trial registrations. 
  • Will the grey lit documents you want be free to read (and free to search for)? Or might they be hidden behind paywalls or hidden in the "deep web" of online databases not indexed by Google?
  • What organizations, or types of organizations, are producing the grey lit documents you want? Bonus tip: think about private/public/third sector and different levels of geography

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."

Intergovernmental organization custom search

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

Look for Grey Literature by Type of Media

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 Grey Literature Network Service

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!