Skip to Main Content

HLTH 235: Food Systems

What is Grey Literature?

Grey literature is the term used to describe literature that is not formally published as a book or journal article.

It is produced by all levels of government, academia, NGOs, associations and professional organizations. Grey literature includes:

  • Conference proceedings
  • Dissertations and theses
  • Governmental or private sector research
  • Association websites
  • Ongoing or unpublished clinical trial data
  • Statistical publications
  • Internal reports or working papers

Why Use Grey Literature?

Use grey literature to:

  • Supplement your search. 
  • Discover references to published literature that your database search might have missed.
  • Discover current and emergent research.
  • Find detailed information on programmes and policies.

How Do I Find Grey Literature Sources?

Some library databases, including Omni, contain grey literature in addition to journal articles. For example, Web of Science, Embase and Medline/PubMed contain conference proceedings. APA PsycInfo contains some dissertations. Since library databases do not generally provide comprehensive coverage of grey literature, other resources should be searched to identify literature that is not formally published as well.