Skip to main content

Grey literature

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

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

How to find grey literature

The Library has research reports from many government departments, and some other bodies like the Royal Colleges. You can search the Library by keyword, individual name, and organisation.

You might also try searching databases, which can contain conference papers, theses, and technical reports.

If we don’t have the material you need, you can search other library catalogues including:

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

Google Scholar is useful for locating some reports, technical papers, conference proceedings and working papers.

Open access sources

Alternatively, search OpenGrey – an open access website that offers information on grey literature produced in Europe. It includes documents from the fields of science, technology, biomedical science, economics, social science and humanities.

The CORE search engine is the world’s largest aggregator of open access content with millions of full texts, deriving from thousands of repositories, journals and other web resources.