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Public Health (Health Studies): Grey Literature

Resources for students and faculty

What is Grey Literature?

Grey Literature comprises of information not easily obtained through conventional sources such as mainstream publishers and databases. It can be challenging to locate.  The World Wide Web provides a means for making this information more accessible. 
Grey literature is an important source of information. Though not scholarly, it is produced by researchers and practitioners. It's made available through government departments, universities, corporations, associations and societies, and professional organizations.

Grey literature can published as:

  • Technical reports
  • Pre-prints
  • Fact sheets
  • Standards
  • Working papers
  • Committee reports
  • Newsletters
  • Government documents
  • Conference proceedings
  • Theses
  • Pamphlets
  • Bulletins, etc.


The Grey Literature Network Service was founded in 1992. The goal of GreyNet is to facilitate dialog, research, and communication between persons and organisations in the field of grey literature. GreyNet further seeks to identify and distribute information on and about grey literature in networked environments. Its main activities include the International Conference Series on Grey Literature, the creation and maintenance of web-based resources, a moderated Listserv and combined Distribution List, The Grey Journal (TGJ), and curriculum development.

Sources of Grey Literature (Public Health)

Locating Grey Literature

Because of its nature, grey literature can be difficult to find. Consider searching:

  1. Government departments or agencies
  2. Professional organizations or associations*
  3. A scientific search engine
  4. Library catalogues of large scientific institutions

See: "Associations" and "Government" pages