An introduction to the resources available to support your learning
Grey literature is the term for literature not formally published in books or journals, or published in a non-commercial form.
This includes: technical or research reports from government agencies, reports and working papers from research groups, doctoral dissertations, conference proceedings, blogs, policy documents, newsletters, and market reports.
Understanding and being aware of the structures of commercial academic publishing, and how this affects what is published and how you access it, may be relevant to you in your studies.
As grey literature is not formally published, it is not subject to the same control as other literature, which has several implications:
Some places to consider when searching for grey literature:
Web of Science (formerly Web of Knowledge), which includes conference proceedings, and includes results from across all disciplines.
BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine), an open access repository. The results here must contain academic content but BASE searches the deep web so might find results that wouldn't be found in other search engines.
The King's Fund: independent reports, findings and commentary on matters relating to healthcare.
Office for National Statistics (ONS): statistics with a UK focus.
Policy Commons: an online directory of publications from over 21,000 policy organisations, including inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, think-tanks and other research centres.
An excellent guide to grey literature, including a range of other sources, is available from the University of Wolverhampton.