Public Health: Grey Literature

Grey literature

Grey literature is defined as  "that which is produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats, but which is not controlled by commercial publishers" (Fourth International Conference on Grey Literature, October 1999, Washington, DC). Grey literature can come in the form of conference proceedings, technical reports, working papers, preprints, as well as blogs or podcasts. There are three ways to search for Grey Literature:

1. Search or browse organizational websites (such as WHO, NIH, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Commonwealth Fund, etc.). Organizations produce reports, statistics, and other unpublished resources.

2. Search websites that index unpublished material such as the following:

Health Services Research Information Central HSRIC is a research portal of health services research resources providing numerous Internet links to data, funding announcements, reports, podcasts, discussion groups, and more. It is not an index of all health services resources on the Web. Rather, it contains selective links representing a sample of available information. Items are selected for their quality, authority of authorship, uniqueness, and appropriateness. 

OpenGrey - an open access database of European grey lit containing over 700,000 references. Can limit by year or institution, includes save and export functionality.

HSRProj (Health Services Research Projects in Progress - From the National Library of Medicine, a database providing access to ongoing grants and contracts in health sciences research.

OpenDOAR - in addition to providing a list of open access repositories, OpenDOAR lets you search repository contents.

3. Use a search engine such as Google Scholar or Google. Consider using other search engines too. A list of alternatives can be found at Search Engine Watch.

You can easily limit your Google searches to specific documents by adding:

- keywords -- for example, guidelines OR protocols

- document types -- for example, filetype:pdf

- limit by source -- for example, site:gov, site:.edu

Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports & issue briefs

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is the policy research arm of the U.S. Congress. It publishes a few thousand issues, briefs, reports, short issue papers, and longer position papers annually. These reports are noted for being non-partisan and in-depth.

You can access this wealth of information from the ProQuest Congressional Research Service, a database available to the GVSU community. 

Conference Proceedings

Conference proceedings can be a rich source of information not yet published in the scholarly literature. Proceedings can contain full articles but sometimes just abstracts. Search Google Scholar for these. Another great resource for meeting abstracts is Web of Science. You can search various fields, including conference name.

Additional grey literature resources

Also look at the health statistics tab on this guide ...

  • GreyNet International
    A Selection of Web-based Resources in Grey Literature

  • Mednar
    "Deep web" search. Limit results by selecting "topics" on left side.

  • OpenGrey
    System for Information on Grey Literature in Europe.

  • Global Health Observatory
    Contains the World Health Organization's main health statistics repository, analytical reports on a wide range of topics, country statistics, maps, and standards.

  • US AID
    The results and data tab may be especially useful.

Subjects: Public Health
  • Last Updated: Oct 3, 2021 1:07 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.gvsu.edu/PH