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Occupational Science/Occupational Therapy Resources: Grey Literature

Resources for the Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Division programs.

Created by Health Science Librarians

Grey Literature

"Grey literature" is defined as "Information produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body." (Luxembourg, 1997 - Expanded in New York, 2004). It is often more difficult to find and obtain than the published literature. 

It may include such things as conference procedings, policy studies and reports, white papers, annual reports, draft legislation, think-tank reports.

Some Sources of Grey Literature

Below are some resources to get you started.  Also think about relevant websites from organizations and keep in mind conference proceedings that may be published in association journals or accessible from professional association conference websites

Finding Abstracts and Conference Materials

Google Advanced Search for Grey Literature

Several features of Google Advanced Search are useful for locating grey literature on the web:

  • Limiting searches by site or domain (e.g. to .gov for U.S. government websites) can provide quick access to common sources of policy documents and reports. Wikipedia's list of country code top-level domains is helpful when searching for literature hosted by other national governments.
  • By specifying file type it's possible to limit results to PDF files, which are common among grey literature documents. These are often otherwise difficult to find on organizations' websites.
  • The last update field is especially helpful if you are looking for recent publications.

How do I Analyze Grey Literature?