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Learn to Research

A guide that will teach you the basic steps to completing research for your assignments.

Grey Literature

Sometimes we need to go beyond library databases to find information online; however, it can be difficult to determine what sources are trustworthy.

A great option is a type of online information known as grey literature.

The term 'grey literature' originated in health sciences but has started to be used in other fields as well. Whereas traditional publishing bodies publish information with the intent to make a profit (think of books, newspapers, magazines, television, etc.), grey literature is created and/or distributed by governments, scholars, and experts and is therefore considered credible.

You can find it in many formats, including:

  • Government reports,
  • Censuses,
  • Conference presentations,
  • Doctoral dissertations & Masters theses,
  • White papers,
  • Blogs,
  • Industry magazines, newsletters, and updates.


Is it academic? Not always.
Is it authoritative? Yes. This is the defining feature of grey literature.
The purpose is to share beneficial information collected from and through credible sources.


More benefits to using grey literature include:

  • using up-to-date information,
  • the opportunity to learn about your industry,
  • learning the jargon, ins and outs, and writing styles of your profession,
  • getting to know the resources professionals use to stay informed and aware of trends and developments.