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Grey Literature

A guide for navigating additional unpublished works in comprehensive evidence syntheses (systematic reviews, scoping reviews, and integrative reviews).

Types of Grey Literature

Types of Grey Literature

There are several different examples of grey literature spanning across several different formats. Alberani, Pietrangeli, & Mazza (1990) have noted some examples of source types, including:

  • Reports
    • Pre-prints
    • Preliminary progress reports
    • Advanced reports
    • Technical reports
    • Statistical reports
    • Memoranda
    • State-of-the-art reports
    • Market research reports
  • Theses/Dissertations
  • Conference proceedings
  • Newsletters
  • Working papers
  • Speeches
  • Technical specifications and standards
  • Non-commercial translations
  • Bibliographies
  • Technical and commercial documentation
  • White papers
  • Policy literature
  • Urban plans
  • Official documents not published commercially
    • E.g. governmental documents not publicly available

There are several more possible formats of grey literature that take a more digital format, such as blogs, discussion forums, social media postings (e.g. tweets), wikis, etc.