Grey literature consists of documents that are unpublished or have been published outside of the typical commercial or academic publishing environment. Grey literature is often generated by public sector organizations/government entities.
Although not peer-reviewed, grey literature is produced by researchers in the field. It is useful for identifying developments or trends in a subject area and is often more current than scholarly/peer-reviewed publications because it does not go through a lengthy publication process. It can be an important source of data and information and is available more quickly than research published in the traditional academic realm.
Examples of grey literature include:
See Document Types in Grey Literature for additional types of grey literature.
Grey literature can be difficult to locate because it is often not indexed or organized. See the Grey Literature Guides and review the boxes below for more information on identifying and finding grey literature for your research.
It can be difficult to identify grey literature within the library databases, as it generally will not be labeled as such and there is no limiter specifically for "grey literature." Look for the following options within the "Source Types" or "Resource Type" area of the search results (usually found within the limiters in the left column):
Find conference proceedings from nearly 50 disciplines and hundreds of conferences.
Search by .gov domain in Google Advanced Search to find government documents.
Google Advanced Search also allows you to search for results with a specific file type, such as .pdf, .doc, .ppt, and .xls. Grey literature as government and organizational reports are often available as PDF or Word document.
Look for the "file type" box in Google Advanced Search and select the file type you would like to search.
This database contains thousands of business periodicals and scholarly journals as well as company profiles, SWOT reports, case studies, country profiles, and industry profiles.
Find research reports from nearly 50 different disciplines.
This database contains a comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses on a variety of topics in the humanities and social sciences, including business topics.
The CSU librarians can support you during the research process with personalized reference services. We are happy to help you with the following tasks: