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Psychology

What is Grey Literature?

The term grey literature refers to research that is either unpublished or has been published in non-commercial form. Many organizations and individuals also provide access to their works online, and most of this material remains unindexed.

Examples of grey literature include:

  • government reports
  • policy statements and issues papers
  • conference papers
  • pre-prints and post-prints of articles
  • theses and dissertations
  • research reports
  • market reports
  • working papers
  • geological and geophysical surveys
  • maps
  • newsletters and bulletins
  • fact sheets

Google Searching Techniques

One of the Google options which can be very helpful is site:

Example:

site:health.gov.au - will restrict your search to the Australian Goverment's Department of Health and Ageing web site

You can further focus your search by adding a topic

Example:

site:health.gov.au obesity - this will focus on Department of Health and Ageing material on obesity

You can also focus your search to look for specific filetypes

Example:

site:health.gov.au obesity filetype:doc - this search will retrieve Department of Health and Ageing .doc files on obesity 

site:health.gov.au obesity filetype:pdf - this search will retrieve Department of Health and Ageing .pdf files on obesity 

For a list of Google searchable file types see http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35287

Google Advanced Search also allows you to limit your search to a site, or domain, eg. gov.au gov.uk, to a geographical region, to a file type, and to a language. It allows phrase searching in combination with multiple options.