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Lehigh University Libraries - Library Guides

Research Process: A Step-By-Step Guide: 2e. Grey Literature

What is "Grey Literature"?

"That which is produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats, but which is not controlled by commercial publishers." (Fourth International Conference on Grey Literature, Washington, DC, October, 1999)

Grey literature includes:

  • Theses and dissertations
  • Conference papers and proceedings
  • Research reports
  • Government documents

Conference Papers and Proceedings

Conference papers and proceedings can be very difficult to find because they:

  • Can be published in different ways - as books, journal articles, abstracts
  • Take several years to be published or may not be published at all
  • May be deposited in an author or institutional repository

Government Documents

Government documents are an important primary source of information on a wide range of issues. They can be found through a search of the library catalog and government websites. For more information on government resources, please see the following guide, U.S. Government Information.

Theses and Dissertations

Research Reports

Research reports contain the results of research projects, investigations, and surveys, and are usually published by the funder or the body undertaking the research.

They can be found by searching the websites of subject associations and research organizations, in addition to the library catalog and databases.