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Health Physics and Radiation Science

What is Grey Literature?

Grey (or gray) literature is:

  • information produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry
  • in electronic and print formats
  • not controlled by commercial publishing (meaning publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body)

Source: GreyNet International


It's called grey literature because it can be fuzzy, hard to define, and (in many cases) hard to locate.


Examples of grey literature include:

  • Theses and dissertations
  • Patents
  • Standards
  • Working papers
  • Pre-prints
  • White papers
  • Reports (institutional, annual/activity, technical, laboratory/research team)


Using grey literature will help strengthen your research. It can be more current than the literature found in books/journals and thus offer you a fuller picture of the information surrounding your topic. When you search for grey lit, expect to run many searches and click on many links.

Theses and Dissertations

Conference Proceedings


Government and Regulatory Websites

Grey Literature Search Engines

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