Grey literature is the term used to describe publications that are unpublished, or which haven't been published commercially.
For example, when you submit your thesis to the university's Institutional Repository, it becomes a piece of grey literature. It is made publicly available via the repository, but it hasn't been commercially published.
You can find grey literature on government, agency, university, institution or company websites. Examples include:
Grey literature is used in research because:
Go to our Systematic Review guide for information on using Grey Literature for Systematic Reviews
Grey literature can be difficult to find and access
The quality of grey literature is variable
Jess Tyndal from Flinders University developed the AACODS checklist (Authority, Accuracy, Coverage, Objectivity, Date, Significance) to assist in evaluating grey literature.
You can find grey literature in archives, some databases such as Informit, and online in institutional repositories such as ACQUIRE, and on government and other websites. Some options for searching are listed below.
Databases to search for grey literature
Search the internet for grey literature
Where else can I find places to search for grey literature?
A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a string of numbers and letters that is a unique and persistent identifier for the publication it is assigned to. Having a DOI increases the visibility and accessibility of your work. It enables accurate citations of your work which contributes to metrics and altmetrics for your work.
CQUniversity can now mint DOIs for grey literature such as theses, reports, creative works and unpublished conference papers. This makes them more discoverable. See the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) news article: DOI service (Cite My Data) expanded to include grey literature.
CQUniversity Theses completed from 2018 onwards are being given DOIs as they are published in ACQUIRE.
CQUniversity researchers and academics who produce other grey literature, can request a DOI through TASaC