Definition of Grey Literature in Research
Grey literature refers to published materials that are not widely available through commercial channels or traditional publication outlets, such as peer-reviewed journals. Grey literature can include reports, conference proceedings, technical documents, and other types of unpublished or hard-to-find materials.
Grey literature can be valuable for researchers, as it may contain information that is not readily available elsewhere and may provide insights into emerging trends or areas of research. However, grey literature may also be more difficult to locate and may not undergo the same level of review and quality control as traditional publications, which can affect its reliability and validity.
Examples of grey literature include:
- Technical reports: These are often produced by government agencies, research institutes, or consulting firms and may contain detailed information on a specific topic or research project.
- Conference proceedings: These are papers presented at conferences or workshops, which may or may not be published in a formal journal.
- Dissertations and theses: These are research papers written as part of a graduate degree program, which may be available through a university library or online repository.
- Working papers: These are papers that are in the process of being prepared for publication, but have not yet been formally published.
- Government documents: These are documents produced by government agencies, such as reports, policy papers, and statistical data.
Grey literature can be a valuable source of information for researchers, but it is important to carefully evaluate its reliability and consider the potential biases or limitations of the materials.