An essential part of any research is finding useful resources to support or improve your findings. And as we all know, research methods offer processes, strategies, and procedures for collecting data and evidence. As a part of your research, have you ever considered grey literature?  In the content below, we discuss grey literature and how it might assist your current research efforts.

What Is Grey Literature?

Grey literature is data created outside of traditional publication and distribution networks. It can also include any literature publication not published via conventional methods. Grey literature may consist of research that is not easy to find or provides varying or incomplete bibliographical data.

It can include government documents, newsletters, reports, speeches, white papers, working papers, urban plans, and more.

The information contained is usually produced by organizations (like agencies, government bodies, NGOs, etc.) to store data, news, and report on activities for future use or distribution without any delays or limitations encountered with traditional publishing methods.

Similarly, some grey literature may be more up-to-date than literature in scholarly publications. However, keep in mind that since grey literature does not go through the process of peer reviews, the quality may vary.

How to Use Grey Literature?

There are several approaches to using grey literature and the following features may significantly enhance your research efforts:

  • Identification of evidence relevant to your research questions, challenges, and systematic reviews.
  • Provision data not easily found within published literature.
  • Reduction of publication bias.
  • Increase reviews’ exhaustiveness, as well as timeliness and that, foster a balanced picture of available evidence.

Grey literature can serve different audiences and comes in diverse formats that may require the use of systematic search. A careful search strategy may also require the use of the narrative review and systematic review to provide much more beneficial results. Several platforms offer an open-source repository for grey literature with the inclusion of analysis and sources.

The GreyGuide Platform

GreyGuide is the leading web platform and resource repository for grey literature. The platform provides information for practitioners, professionals, and students seeking common ground for effective use of resources in grey literature.

The GreyGuide platform offers a variety of shared documents, affiliate repositories links, and other web-based content. Also, collections within the Repository of GreyGuide are now accessible via collective search and browse capabilities alongside metadata.

GreyGuide further seeks to capture published works to handle the demand and supply side of grey literature. GreyNet and ISTI-CNR wee created GreyGuide in 2013. And further development on the platform has continued over time.

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Buddy is a military veteran, former intelligence officer, and entrepreneur who teaches dozens of courses on a variety of intelligence-related topics. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Echo Analytics Group and is based in Tampa, Florida.