Leeds University Library

Grey literature

Grey literature is any information that is not produced by commercial publishers. It includes conference proceedings, theses, research reports, working papers, preprints, white papers and reports produced by government departments, academics, business and industry. 

As it is not published by mainstream publishers grey literature can be hard to track down.

How to find grey literature

Library Catalogue

Contains research reports from many government departments, and some other bodies like the Royal Colleges.

  • Search by title for a specific known item
  • Search by keyword to browse a topic
  • Search by author to find an individual or organisation.

Other library catalogues

  • Copac is a merged online catalogue of major libraries in the UK and Ireland
  • WorldCat shows the collections of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide.

If you find useful material, you can either visit the library in person or request the item via the document supply service.


Some include details of theses, conference papers and technical reports, as well as journal articles.


An open-access website offering information on grey literature (paper) produced in Europe. It includes documents from the fields of science, technology, biomedical science, economics, social science and humanities.

Google Scholar

Useful for locating some conference proceedings and working papers. Google can be a good source for locating reports and technical papers.